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Paterson Vice: Patrons Scatter At Barber Shop Turned Gambling Den, Illegal Nightspot Draws 500

9J Barber Shop, Park Avenue, Paterson
9J Barber Shop, Park Avenue, Paterson Photo Credit: GoogleMaps

Patrons of a barber shop turned after-hours gambling den scattered in all directions -- some of them stuffing cash into their pockets as they fled -- during a raid by members of Paterson's vice squad, authorities said.

Meanwhile, in an industrial area on the city's south side, police responding to a large fight discovered a warehouse that they said two Glen Rock women had illegally converted into an event space -- complete with bar, DJ and no fewer than 500 patrons.

Detectives who raided the 9J Barber Shop on Park Avenue seized $1,943 while arresting Maximo Beltray, 51, on charges of promoting and maintaining gambling and possessing gambling devices and records, city Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale said.

It was one of several "hot spots" targeted by the vice squad as Paterson's finest stepped up enforcement of city business regulations.

The targeted areas:

  • North Main & Jefferson Street;
  • West Broadway & Matlock and Presidential Blvd;
  • North Main & East Main Street;
  • North Main & Cliff Street;
  • Governor and Carroll Street;
  • Park Avenue & East 22nd Street;
  • East 22nd Street & 35thStreet.

During the course of the operations, several police unit responded to a report of a large fight at a Kentucky Avenue warehouse where hundreds had gathered outside, Speziale said.

After breaking up the crowd, police issued summonses to owners Janice R. Laguerre, 36, and Kristina J. Laguerre, 34; promoter Jevon Morgan, 28, of Plainfield; bartender Briana K. Randolph, 22, of Newark; and DJ Augustine Cardell, 21, of Bloomfield while seizing several bottles of liquor, the director said.

Charges included endangering the public by maintaining a nuisance, operating without an entertainment license and loud music.

Other businesses that were raided and cited include:

  • Montesino Barber Shop, 291 Market Street;
  • El Cantaro Liquors, 416 Market Street;
  • Power Mini Mart and Gas Station, 315 Park Avenue.

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