LODI, N.J. -- Authorities seized 3½ combined pounds of heroin and cocaine, along with two guns and more than $100,000 in suspected drug money in a quick-strike drug takedown targeting three locations -- one in Lodi and two in Paterson.
An investigation by the Paterson Police Narcotics Division led to the simultaneous raids around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday involving the DEA, as well as both the city police Emergency Response Team and its K-9 unit, city Police Director Jerry Speziale said.
- 163 Beech St., Paterson;
- 957 E. 27th St., Paterson;
- 12 Oration Place, Lodi.
Arrested were Gabriel Mercado, 37, of Lodi, and Sammy Cuevas, 40, of Paterson, on various drug and weapons charges, Speziale said.
Detectives also seized two vehicles that Speziale said had secret electronically operated "trap" compartments for transporting drugs and cash. The city will seek to have the vehicles forfeited, he said.
Speziale said the squad also seized:
- three bags of crack;
- 11 bags of cocaine weighing 2.2 pounds;
- a bag of heroin weighing 1.2 pounds;
- four bags and two jars of marijuana weighing 2½ ounces;
- 12 Percocet pills;
- a Taurus Millennium PT 140 PRO .40-caliber handgun;
- a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun;
- 82 hollow-point bullets;
- drug paraphernalia.
Both Mercado and the 5-foot-5-inch, 319-pound Cuevas remained held in the Passaic County Jail on Wednesday pending detention hearings.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.