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Feds: Multi-County Burglary Crew Broke Into 40 North Jersey Pharmacies Seeking Codeine

“They typically wore dark clothing, facemasks, and gloves, and gained entry to the pharmacies by breaking windows or doors with a brick or a rock."
“They typically wore dark clothing, facemasks, and gloves, and gained entry to the pharmacies by breaking windows or doors with a brick or a rock." Photo Credit: morguefile.com/photos/quicksandala

A gang of burglars used bricks and rocks to break into at least 40 pharmacies in Hudson, Bergen and several other counties, targeting specific prescription drugs that they could sell, federal authorities said.

Ten men, all from Jersey City, were charged in the three-month spree following an investigation led by Secaucus police, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said Tuesday.

Surveillance video captured images of the burglars breaking into some of the victimized pharmacies in North Bergen, Jersey City, Guttenberg, West New York, Secaucus, Lyndhurst, North Arlington, Linden, Iselin, Madison, Kenilworth and Short Hills from Oct. 11 through Dec. 22, she said.

“They typically wore dark clothing, facemasks, and gloves, and gained entry to the pharmacies by breaking windows or doors with a brick or a rock,” Honing said.

The burglars prized codeine and other medications, such as acetaminophen and promethazine, that included it.

In one instance, the U.S. attorney said, three burglars broke into a Secaucus pharmacy, took promethazine with codeine and fled in a black Chevy Malibu registered to one of them.

The Malibu was actually stopped by police in Union Township a little over an hour and a half before another pharmacy burglary, this one in Linden, Honig said.

Only four of the 10 were in custody as of Tuesday afternoon.

They were identified as:

  • Mohummad “Mo Waps” Simmons, 25;
  • Daquan “Day Day” Hart, 22;
  • Darrel Hicks, 25;
  • Tyriq Rembert, 28.

Still at large were:

  • Tamir “Stragg” Brown, 27;
  • Rico “Little Mil” Phang, 19;
  • Deon “Dee” Davis, 24;
  • Michael “Jerk” Simeus, 27;
  • David Booker, 28;
  • Jamiel “Money Mil” French, 27.

All are charged federal with conspiracy to commit drug-related burglary.

“The success of this investigation was the result of teamwork, the sharing of information between law enforcement agencies, and good, old-fashioned police work,” said Susan A. Gibson, the special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division.

Honig credited Secaucus police with leading the investigation along with special agents of the DEA.

She also thanked the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Jersey City, North Bergen, Harrison, Hillside, Elizabeth, Guttenberg, Kearny, North Arlington, Bernards Township, Maywood, Lyndhurst, Millburn, Linden, Woodbridge, Madison, West New York, Clifton, Parsippany, Roselle, Hoboken, Edison, Kenilworth, Highland Park, Belleville, Teaneck, and Bayonne police departments.

The case is being prosecuted by Desiree Grace Latzer, deputy chief of Honig’s Criminal Division in Newark.

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