MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – Kevin O. Ruiz, aka “Star,” 25, of Paterson has been sentenced to five years in state prison for his role in a drug distribution operation in which he personally delivered heroin and crack-cocaine to his customers daily in Morris, Sussex, Warren and Bergen Counties.
Ruiz was sentenced on Wednesday by Superior Court Judge Stephen J. Taylor, at a hearing in Morristown, according Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp.
Ruiz’s conviction resulted from a long-term investigation which began in October 2016. The investigation revealed that many of Ruiz’s drug buyers would re-distribute the heroin and crack cocaine they purchased from Ruiz in their own towns, which included Jefferson, Rockaway Township, Hackettstown, and Hackensack.
During a 25-day wiretap investigation led by the Narcotics Task Force, it is believed that Ruiz directly distributed more than 4,000 folds, or individual doses, of heroin and more than 130 packages of crack cocaine, with an estimated street value in excess of $12,000.
On March 17, 2017, the investigation culminated when several court-authorized search and arrest warrants were executed throughout Morris, Sussex, Warren, Bergen, and Passaic counties by the Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team, Bergen County Regional SWAT and the members of the Morris and Bergen County Prosecutor’s Offices Narcotics Task Forces.
As a result, 18 individuals were arrested and more than 210 doses of heroin, 16 bags of crack cocaine, $3,600 in currency, a stolen handgun, and 6 motor vehicles were seized.
One of Ruiz’s drug suppliers, Jashawn Halloway, 34, of Paterson, was identified and prosecuted along with Ruiz. Halloway previously pled guilty to conspiracy to possess heroin with intent to distribute. He was sentenced in June to six years in state prison.
“We are losing too many of our loved ones to deadly heroin overdoses. The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office will continue to partner with our municipal law enforcement agencies, other County Prosecutors and the New Jersey State Police to target heroin dealers that sell these deadly substances in Morris County'” Knapp said.
“This investigation and resulting conviction of this for-profit drug dealer exemplifies the multi-agency partnerships needed to combat the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic,” Knapp said.
Prosecutor Knapp thanked the following agencies for their assistance and commitment to the Naroctics Task Force: Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Morris County Park Police, New Jersey State Police, Morristown Bureau of Police, Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Police Department, Town of Dover Police Department, Morris Township Police Department, Boonton Township Police Department, Butler Borough Police Department, Jefferson Township Police Department, Rockaway Borough Police Department, Montville Township Police Department, Riverdale Borough Police Department, Sparta Township Police Department and the Town of Newton Police Department.