A fentanyl trafficking network was dismantled by authorities who seized nearly a quarter-pound of the highly-lethal drug, two handguns and several thousand dollars in suspected drug money, the Union County Prosecutor's Office announced.
The three-month investigation concluded before dawn on June 20 with the execution of search warrants across Phillipsburg, Middlesex Borough and in homes on Charles and Hussa streets in Linden, according to Assistant Prosecutors Peter DeRose and Megan Tomlinson, who are prosecuting the case.
Seized were approximately 100 grams of raw fentanyl, hundreds of items of drug paraphernalia and packaging materials, two handguns and over $4,000 in cash, Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel said.
The following individuals were arrested in the operation, Daniel said:
- Jawwaad Butler, 43 of Phillipsburg, who was charged with first-degree leader of a narcotics trafficking network and third-degree conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance (CDS).
- Justin Williams, 42 of Middlesex Borough, who was charged with second-degree possession with of fentanyl with the intent to distribute, third-degree conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, third-degree possession of controlled dangerous substance, second-degree possession of a firearm while committing a CDS offense, second-degree certain persons not to possess a weapon, and fourth-degree possession of a large capacity magazine.
- William Randle, 58 of Linden, who was charged with third-degree conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance and third-degree possession of controlled dangerous substance.
- Dameon Little, 50 of Linden who was charged with third-degree conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance and third-degree possession of controlled dangerous substance.
- Clifford Jones, 35 of Linden who was charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, third-degree possession of controlled dangerous substance and fourth-degree possession of a large capacity magazine.
The five men were taken into custody during the operation, with Little, Jones and Randle released on Pre-trial Monitoring pending their next court appearance, Daniel said. Butler and Williams remain held pending the outcome of the case, Tomlinson and DeRose said.
This multi-agency investigation included collaboration and support from the Drug Enforcement Agency Newark Field Division, the New Jersey State Police Electronic Surveillance Unit, the Elizabeth Police Department Emergency Services Unit, the Cranford Police Department, Springfield Police Department, Roselle Park Police Department, the Union County Sheriff’s Office and the Hoboken Police Department. The Union County SWAT Team and the SWAT Teams of both Middlesex County and Warren County assisted with the execution of the search warrants.
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