Suspected Drug Distributor Arrested PDF Print E-mail

Newark – In a joint operation conducted by the Essex County sheriff’s Bureau of Narcotics and the department’s Tactical Response Team, a suspected drug distributor was arrested late yesterday afternoon and more than $43,000 in narcotics was seized.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that BON and TRT detectives, armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Michael Petrolle, initiated a plainclothes surveillance operation at 394 Irvine Turner Boulevard on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

Sheriff Fontoura said that the officers observed as male suspect, later identified as Isaac Free, age 42, exited his residence and traveled south on Irvine Turner Boulevard.

At this point the building was surrounded and BON and TRT detectives entered to execute the search warrant for the second floor apartment.

With no response to their knocking, the sheriff’s detectives made a forced entry into the apartment, fearing a possible destruction of evidence.

The apartment was unoccupied and the sheriff’s officers discovered on a shelf behind the kitchen refrigerator 1,067 Oxycodone tablets, 821 Xanax tablets, 45 Ecstasy tablets, three large medicine bottles containing Tussionex (a codeine-based liquid), 20 plastic sandwich bags containing marijuana, one plastic sandwich bag containing cocaine and 20 glassine envelopes, stamped “RED HOT”, containing heroin.

Sheriff’s officers also discovered 238 clear, screw top, glass vials, commonly used for packaging and street distribution of Tussionex, and other drug paraphernalia in Free’s south bedroom.

“This suspect was apparently operating on a large scale,” Sheriff Fontoura said. “In addition to the heroin, cocaine and marijuana, he illegally had as much prescription drugs as your neighborhood pharmacy.”

At 3:30 p.m., Free returned to his apartment and was taken into custody.

Free was charged with 29 criminal counts, including the manufacture, distribution and possession of controlled dangerous substances.

Newark municipal court Judge Anthony Higgins set a speedy bail of $150,000 on Free who was remanded to the county jail. The suspect will be arraigned in criminal Central Judicial Processing court on Friday.