WEST NEW YORK, NJ (Hudson County) – A two-month long inveisgation has led to the arrest of three New Jersey residents for various drug offenses, seizure of 38 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl, and the dismantling of a drug mill, according to the New Jersey State Police.
In May 2022, detectives with the New Jersey State Police Trafficking North Unit, working as a part of the Opioid Enforcement Task Force (OETF) began investigating the Richard Stroman Jr., 38, of North Arlington for the alleged distribution of narcotics in northern New Jersey, state police said.
Through various investigative means, detectives determined that Stroman Jr. was operating a drug mill out of a residence in West New York and using a residence in Union City to support his operation. Additionally, detectives identified Jose Acosta, 37, of Hoboken and Miguel Carrasco-Lara, 35, of Lyndhurst as alleged members of the drug trafficking network, state police said.
On June 24, detectives from the Trafficking North Unit, Hazmat Unit, Gangs & Organized Crime North Unit, and Opioid Enforcement Task Force executed search warrants at the two residences and Strotman Jr.’s residence in North Arlington, state police said.
Strotman Jr., Acosta, and Carrasco-Lara were arrested and police seized more than 38 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl, bulk cutting agents, a digital scale, kilogram presses, several cellular devices, and $1,900 cash, state police said.
All three were charged with maintaining a CDS production facility, possession with intent to distribute, possession of CDS, possession of CDS paraphernalia, and conspiracy. They were then lodged in the Hudson County Jail pending a detention hearing, state police said.
“By targeting heroin and fentanyl supply sources and intervening to prevent these deadly drugs from reaching the street, the Opioid Enforcement Task Force is fulfilling its mission to save lives,” said Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. “The takedown of this drug mill advances that mission and we will continue to pursue this collaborative strategy, spearheaded by the State Police.”
“The take down of the two drug producing mills and as a result of the seizure of these illegal narcotics, we have undoubtedly saved multiple lives, because even the smallest amount of fentanyl is deadly to anyone who comes in contact with it,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We will continue to work with our partners and use the tools at our disposal to target and take down these drug trafficking networks, but the positive relationships within our communities remains one of our most valuable resources.”
Since its inception the OETF has conducted 319 enforcement operations and seized more than 1,263,951 individual doses of packaged opioids valued at $6,319,755, more than 110 kilograms of raw heroin valued at $6,600,000, more than 207 kilograms of fentanyl valued at $10,350,000, more than 79,000 fentanyl based pills valued at $790,000, more than 151 kilograms of cocaine valued at $5,436,000, more than 28 kilograms of methamphetamine valued at $280,000, more than $4,673,440 in U.S. currency, and 317 firearms. The OETF has also disrupted or dismantled 59 fully operational opioid packaging facilities, eight fully operational fentanyl pill-pressing operations, and arrested 650 suspects during this time.