A 26-year-old Elizabeth man was arrested at a Newark hotel, where he had been running a mobile heroin mill linked to 15 suspected overdoses across New Jersey, authorities said
Agents found Marlon Lopez operating a heroin mill out of a hotel on Routes 1 & 9 in Newark, in which he was able to quickly mobilize the entire operation from room-to-room and to different locations altogether, New Jersey State Police said in a news release.
A search of the room turned up 145 bricks of heroin, 80 grams of raw heroin, 3 pounds of marijuana, narcotics packaging materials, and several different stamps used to brand packaged narcotics, authorities said.
The investigation began March 29, when detectives from several North Jersey law enforcement agencies began investigating the Newark hotel.
While conducting an investigation in a hotel parking lot, they found a Dodge Durango with a bogus temporary New Jersey license plate parked in the lot, authorities said.
Agents soon discovered that the vehicle had an illegally-modified vehicle identification number and was reported stolen out of Shrewsbury, NJSP said.
Detectives linked the vehicle to Lopez, who was staying in a room at the hotel.
Lopez soon left the room and entered the vehicle, at which time detectives approached him and arrested him without incident.
At the time of his arrest, Lopez had 14 grams of heroin, marijuana, and $2,630 cash. That's when detectives executed a search warrant of Lopez's room, and found the drugs, NJSP said.
"Drug traffickers market their 'brand' of drug by ink-stamping the outside of a wax fold with a unique image, word, or phrase such as 'Respect the Game,' and 'Stay Still,' which are all examples of stamps that were recovered," State Police said.
The stamps “Respect the Game” and “Stay Still” have been linked to a total of two fatal overdoses, one each, in New Jersey.
Detectives seized pre-packaged bricks of heroin stamped with the brands “Block Party” and “Dunkin Donuts,” which have also been linked to a total of two fatal overdoses, one each, in New Jersey.
Additional heroin seized was stamped with brands linked to four suspected fatal overdoses and 11 suspected non-fatal overdoses in New Jersey, authorities said.
Marlon Lopez was charged with maintaining a heroin production facility, possession of heroin, possession of marijuana, possession of heroin and marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of CDS paraphernalia, and receiving stolen property. He was lodged at the Essex County Jail pending a detention hearing.
The case is being prosecuted by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
The case was investigated by detectives with the New Jersey State Police Motor Vehicle Crimes North Unit, which is comprised of State Police detectives and members of the Paramus Police Department, Warren Township Police Department, Bernards Township Police Department, Middletown Township Police Department, Westfield Township Police Department, and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.
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