A Paterson man was busted with more than 28 pounds of cocaine with a street value of $720,500 during a fugitive roundup, authorities announced Thursday.
Tydel Clark, 31, was arrested following a warranted search of a Passaic city residence and his vehicle, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and U.S. Marshal for the District of New Jersey Juan Mattos Jr. said.
The news came amid a joint announcement by both of an operation that they said produced 133 arrests and the seizure of guns and drugs.
Authorities targeted active warrants and fugitive cases, most of them in Paterson, Valdes and Mattos said.
“Utilizing targeted warrant enforcement, criminal intelligence gathering and dissemination, and narcotics and weapons trafficking investigations, the operation focused on removing violent offenders from the streets,” both said in a joint statement.
They didn’t say how many weapons or how much drugs were seized, whom besides Clark was arrested or why they waited nearly a week to make the announcement.
Just hours earlier, Acting State Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck held a live news conference in Paterson to announce the takedown of a violent, drug-dealing street gang that he said armed itself heavily to protect its territory against rivals.
Clark was the only arrested defendant identified by Valdes and Mattos in the “Silk City Sweep” from July 12-16.
He was nabbed as part of a joint effort of members of the prosecutor’s Narcotics, Gangs and Violent Crimes Task Force, U.S. Marshals, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, they said.
Clark, who also had packaging materials, was charged with first-degree counts of possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute it and maintaining a “controlled dangerous substance production facility,” along with other counts.
He curiously was released pending further action under New Jersey’s 2017 bail reform law -- which was created, in part, to keep defendants charged with major drug crimes from buying their way out of detention.
Valdes and Mattos said a judge ordered that Clark remain on “pre-trial monitoring pending the disposition of the charges against him, which have been referred to [a grand jury] for consideration.”
Investigators also identified more than 25 convicted sex offenders within Passaic County “with active warrants for failing to register or update their registration status,” many of whom “have since departed the state and failed to register elsewhere,” Valdes and Mattos said.
One was caught, with “more to come,” they said.
“The resounding success of this counter gang operation is the direct result of the far-reaching collaborative investigative efforts by the U.S. Marshals Service, Passaic County Prosecutor’s and Sheriff’s Offices, and our state, local, and federal task force partners,” Mattos said.
“I’m extremely proud of the steadfast tenacity these men and women put forth to make this operation such a success. These law enforcement professionals put their lives on the line every day to make sure these dangerous fugitives were taken off the streets and have provided some much-deserved relief to communities that have been plagued by violence and gang activity.' Operation Silk City' was a text-book example of interagency collaboration at its very best!”
Valdes, for her part, called the operation “the latest example of local, state and federal law enforcement partnerships that come together unified in purpose and effort to hold offenders accountable. The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office will continue to work to ensure public safety in the [c]ity of Paterson and in Passaic County.”
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