Paterson detectives seized more than 7,000 heroin folds, a homemade "ghost" gun and more while busting a drug-dealing ex-con and his girlfriend, authorities said.
Kadeem Coleman tried keeping police off his tail by using various vehicles registered to residents in a multi-family building in the city's Hillcrest section that served as a base of operations, Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale said.
Coleman, 28, had reason to be cautious. He'd spent several years in federal prison after city police, responding to a 2015 shooting on Jefferson Street, found him carrying a .45-caliber pistol that had been stolen out of Morris County.
Coleman was released from federal custody in May 2020, records show. It wasn't long before he was working the streets again, according to investigators.
It all came crashing down Friday when city narcotics detectives armed with warrants raided the North 3rd Street building, as well as Coleman's apartment just a 10-minute walk away, Speziale said.
The investigators had spent a month watching Coleman and his girlfriend, Niurkary Nunez, 21, sling drugs in the neighborhood, he said.
Coleman kept the stash at his West Broadway apartment, shuttling between there and North 3rd Street to service customers, the director said. He and Nunez also dealt near their home, he said.
Both were headed from there to North 3rd Street when detectives carrying warrants for their arrests stopped the couple's black Toyota Camry on Friday.
The investigators found 300 heroin folds, along with several unpackaged pills and some crack, Speziale said.
A search of their apartment turned up 7,007 more heroin folds stashed in separate bags of rice, along with two ounces of crack, 105 Xanax pills, eight Oxycodone pills and a "ghost" gun, he said.
Illegal "ghost" guns are made by buying the various parts and assembling them, which bypasses criminal and mental illness background checks. None of the parts bear serial numbers, making the DIY weapons impossible to trace. They ordinarily sell for $250 to $500 on the black market
Also found in the couple's home was a high-capacity ammo magazine, Speziale said.
The raid at North 3rd Street produced drug-packaging materials, including unstamped wax folds, empty zip-locking bags of various sizes and small rubber bands, he said.
Detectives also seized $1,020 in suspected proceeds, the director said.
Resident Kashon McPherson -- who already had an active warrant for his arrest from a previous investigation -- wasn't there but later surrendered to police, Speziale said. McPherson, 28, was sent to the Passaic County Jail on the warrant.
Coleman and Nunez, meanwhile, were charged with a host of drug, gun and ammo offenses and sent to the county lockup to await court appearances.
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