Pleads Guilty in Court; Arrested 3 Hours Later on New Drug Charges PDF Print E-mail

Newark – Three hours after pleading guilty to prior drug charges, a Newark suspect and his two alleged male accomplices were arrested on Friday by Essex County sheriff’s detectives and additional drug charges were filed against the trio.

As a result of the arrests, a large quantity of heroin and nearly $3,500 in cash was seized by officers from the sheriff’s Bureau of Narcotics.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that as part of an on-going narcotics investigation BON officers executed search warrants at three suspected distribution locations in Newark at 3:00 p.m. on Friday.

Sheriff Fontoura said that prior to announcing their presence at 43 Clark Street, a row house, the BON officers surrounded the building. Leroy Bethea, age 33, William Cruz, age 37, and Omar Donaldson, age 33, all of Newark, attempted to flee the scene via a rear entrance and were immediately arrested without incident.

At that location, sheriff’s officers confiscated 49 decks of heroin and drug packaging materials.

At noon on Friday, Bethea had agreed to a plea bargain before Superior Court Judge Sherry Hutchins – Henderson on earlier drug charges and he was released with a sentencing date scheduled for January 21, 2011.

Another search warrant was executed at Bethea’s residence, 6 Oriental Place. $2180 cash in small denomination bills were found in a bedroom closet in a brown plastic bag. Bethea was also found to be in possession of an additional $1288 in cash.

A third search warrant was executed at 12 ½ Oriental Place, Bethea’s suspected drug stash. This location yielded 2100 decks of heroin which were hidden in a plastic bag in a bedroom closet.

The total street value of the heroin is $22,000.

The three suspects were charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of Barringer Academy, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 feet of public housing and conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.

Bethea is additionally charged with drug possession and distribution charges for the narcotics found at the Oriental Place location.

Newark municipal court Judge Dion Williams set bail on Bethea at $250,000. Bethea made bail early on Saturday.

Judge Williams set bail at $75,000 each on Cruz and Donaldson.

At today’s arraignment, Judge Amilkar Velez – Lopez ordered Cruz held at the county jail on $75,000 bail. Donaldson will be arraigned on Tuesday.