Taxi Passenger Caught With 750 Bags Of Heroin in Paterson Computer Store Parking Lot

A passenger in an unmarked taxi was carrying 750 bags of heroin for sale when Passaic County sheriff’s detectives converged on him in a Paterson computer store parking lot, authorities said.

Tyrone Merchant Jr. (left), Geraldo Valerio-Gil
Tyrone Merchant Jr. (left), Geraldo Valerio-Gil Photo Credit: MUGSHOTS: Courtesy PASSAIC COUNTY SHERIFF

Acting on a complaint, investigators approached the vehicle – which had an inactive fare light and no logos or insignias – in the Mirco Center parking lot on McLean Boulevard just after 6 p.m. Monday, Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said.

Passenger Tyrone Merchant Jr., 19, emerged from the taxi and was getting into another vehicle when they moved in, Berdnik said.

Merchant, of Woodland Park, tried getting back into the taxi when they grabbed him, the sheriff said.

Seeing a large bulge in his right front pocket, the detectives patted him down for weapons and found the heroin, he said.

Merchant was sent to the Passaic County Jail pending a detention hearing on drug charges.

The taxi driver, identified as 46-year-old Geraldo Valerio-Gil of Paterson, was charged with marijuana-related counts and released on a summons, Berdnik said.

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