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Months-long drug investigation nets 27 arrests, seize nearly $600K worth of cocaine, weapons

SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ – An five-month-long investigation into the alleged distribution of cocaine in the Somerset, Union, and Middlesex County area has led to the arrest of 27 individuals and 4 people are still wanted, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael Robertson.

Prosecutor Robertson stated the following defendants were arrested following a five month investigation relative to the distribution of cocaine in the Somerset, Union, and Middlesex County area. These defendants were arrested are charged on June 4, 2021 with the following offenses:

  • Joselin Castillo, aka “Tragedy”, 30, Grandview Avenue in Edison, NJ – Possession of cocaine with the Intent to Distribute (1st degree), Leader of a CDS Trafficking Network (1st degree), Maintaining a CDS Production Facility (1st degree), Attempt to Distribute CDS ( 2nd degree), Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (2nd degree), Possession of an Assault Firearm (2nd degree), Possession of a Firearm while Committing a CDS Offense (2nd degree), Unlawful Possession of a Handgun (2nd degree), Endangering the Welfare of a Child (2nd degree), Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine (4th degree), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Disorderly Persons).
  • Jonatan Gonzalez-Duran, aka “JB”, 28, Sumner Avenue in Plainfield, NJ – Distribution of cocaine (1st degree), Possession of cocaine with the Intent to Distribute (1st degree), Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (2nd degree), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Disorderly Persons).
  • Joey Flores, 30, Crescent Avenue in Plainfield, NJ – Distribution of cocaine (2nd degree), Attempt to Distribute CDS (2nd degree), and Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (2nd degree).
  • Anne Crowton, 29, Faitoute Avenue in Roselle Park, NJ – Attempt to Possess CDS (2nd degree), and Conspiracy to Possess CDS (2nd degree).
  • Katherin Ceballos, 22, Grandview Avenue in Edison, NJ- Possession of cocaine with the Intent to Distribute (1st degree), Maintaining a CDS Production Facility (1st degree), Attempt to Distribute (2nd degree), Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (2nd degree), Possession of an Assault Firearm (2nd degree), Possession of a Firearm while Committing a CDS Offense (2nd degree), Unlawful Possession of a Handgun (2nd degree), Endangering the Welfare of a Child (2nd degree), Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine (4th degree), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Disorderly Persons).
  • Jennifer Rodriguez-Leonardo, 21, Liberty Street in Plainfield, NJ – Possession of cocaine with the Intent to Distribute (1st degree), Maintaining a CDS Production Facility (1st degree), Possession of an Assault Firearm (2nd degree), Possession of a Firearm while Committing a CDS Offense (2nd degree), Unlawful Possession of a Handgun (2nd degree), Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine (4th degree), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Disorderly Persons).

During the week of June 14, 2021 the following defendants were arrested and charged for third-degree conspiracy and third-degree attempt to possess a controlled dangerous substance:

  • Mohammed Adwan, 54, Grant Avenue, South Plainfield, NJ.
  • Kyle Battle, 31, Oxford Avenue, Plainfield, NJ.
  • Dave Choppay, Jr., 55, New Center Road, Hillsborough, NJ.
  • Jose Concepcion, Jr., 47, Somerset Street, North Plainfield, NJ.
  • Andrew Della-Ventura, 63, North Avenue, Dunellen, NJ.
  • Joseph Gonzalez, 43, West 6th Street, Plainfield, NJ.
  • Heather Hein, 51, Boulder Hill Road, Lebanon, NJ.
  • Darguin Linares, 50, Camman Place, Somerville, NJ.
  • Mahmoud Mansy, 61, South Washington Avenue, Dunellen, NJ.
  • Juan Menjivar-Rivera, 43, Sumner Avenue, Plainfield, NJ.
  • Charles Norway, 63, Haran Avenue, Manville, NJ.
  • Maryann Norway, 61, Windrew Avenue, South Plainfield, NJ.
  • Tracey Pearson, 60, New Center Road, Hillsborough, NJ.
  • Julio Perdomo, 30, Garfield Avenue, Plainfield, NJ.
  • Kenneth Samuels, 59, East 5th Street, Plainfield, NJ.
  • Michael Wade-Saunders, 54, Mitchell Avenue, Piscataway, NJ.
  • Hatem Shata, 55, Diane Court, New Providence, NJ.
  • Major Smith, 67, Russell Place, Plainfield, NJ.
  • Scott Taylor, 60, Lafayette Place, Plainfield, NJ.
  • Alfredo Vargas-Gonzalez, 50, West Front Street, Plainfield, NJ.
  • Saleem White, 35, Forest Drive, Piscataway, NJ.

The following defendants were charged with third-degree conspiracy and third-degree attempt to possess a controlled dangerous substance and are wanted by authorities:

  • Francisco Fordham, 59, 11th Street, Piscataway, NJ.
  • Miguel Garcia, 40, Plainfield Avenue, Plainfield, NJ.
  • Devin Jones, 45, East 2nd Street, Plainfield, NJ.
  • Victor Tejada-Urena, 42, Westervelt Avenue, Plainfield, NJ.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that as a result of this comprehensive investigation authorities executed eight Superior Court Search Warrants which included the residences of Joselin Castillo, Jonatan Gonzalez-Duran, and Anne Crowton. The results of the search warrants culminated in the seizure of approximately 6.5 kilograms (6,500 grams) of cocaine, a 9mm polymer 80 handgun equipped with a thirty round extended magazine, an AR-15 rifle equipped with a high capacity thirty round magazine, $193,536.25 in U.S. currency, and numerous items utilized for drug manufacturing to include scales, packaging material, narcotics cutting agent, one money counter, and two separate kilogram press devices.

The cocaine seized has an estimated street value of $559,000.00.

Prosecutor Robertson commends the numerous agencies involved, aside from the previously mentioned departments, the success of this operation would not have been possible without the active cooperation of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Unit and the Major Crimes Unit, the Union County SWAT Team, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Unit, the Middlesex County SWAT Team, the Edison Police Department Narcotic Unit, the Plainfield Police Department Detective Bureau, and the Hillsborough Township Police Department K-9 Unit.

Anyone with information relating to this investigation or to the whereabouts of the defendants wanted by authorities to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force 908-231-7100 via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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