Guns, Heroin, Cocaine Seized During Arrest

Newark – A suspect, utilizing a West Ward apartment hallway as his drug stash, was arraigned today on narcotics and weapons charges following his arrest on Wednesday afternoon by Essex County sheriff’s detectives.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura said that detectives from his department’s Bureau of Narcotics conducted a surveillance operation at the intersection of South Orange Avenue and Smith Street yesterday as part on an on-going investigation into drug trafficking in the area.

Sheriff Fontoura said that the BON detectives observed the suspect, later identified as James Townes, age 23 of Newark, as he engaged in a brief conversation with a male passerby. Townes then opened the doorway of a nearby multi-family house and retrieved items from a gray book bag.

When Townes exchanged the items with the passerby for cash the BON detectives moved in to further investigate. With Townes detained the book bag was searched and found to contain a fully loaded, 9mm, Stallard Arms semi-automatic handgun, a loaded, .32 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, 155 glassine envelopes of heroin, stamped “STOP SNITCHING” in red ink, and 11 plastic baggies of “crack” cocaine.

Townes was then placed under arrest and charged with two counts each of the unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon while committing a drug offense, possession a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of CDS with intent to distribute and possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of North Star Academy. Townes was also found to be the subject of an open criminal warrant on charges of aggravated assault which was issued by the Irvington municipal court.

At today’s arraignment, Judge Marilyn Williams ordered Townes held at the county jail in lieu of $100,000 cash bond only.