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Essex County Sheriff’s Office


June 19, 2018

Contact: Sheriff Armando Fontoura (973) 621-4105

 Newark – Two suspects were arrested this morning by Essex County sheriff’s detectives and multiple drug charges were filed against them.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that officers from his department’s Bureau of Narcotics conducted a plainclothes surveillance operation at the intersection of South 19th Street and Avon Avenue in Newark’s West Ward at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday in response to numerous neighborhood complaints of open-air drug trafficking,

The BON detectives observed Ricky Hubbard, 41, and Wanda Askew, 47, both of Newark, loitering in the area.

“After a few minutes, Hubbard entered his parked 2004 Honda Odyssey van and removed a large, clear plastic bag which he handed to Askew,” Sheriff Fontoura said.  “Askew placed the plastic bag into her fanny pack and moved across South 19th Street from Hubbard.”

A female passerby walked up to Askew and after a brief conversation Askew exchanged items from the plastic bag with the woman for cash.  When Askew was then seen walking back across the street and handing the money to Hubbard the sheriff’s detectives announced their presence and moved in to further investigate.

“Askew’s fanny pack was found to contain 100 heroin-filled envelopes, stamped ‘Mortal Combat’ in black ink, and 78 plastic jugs of ‘crack’ cocaine,” Fontoura noted.  “On the front passenger seat of Hubbard’s van our detective seized a second plastic bag which contained an additional 337 heroin-filled envelopes.  $297 in alleged drug proceeds was also confiscated from Hubbard.”

The estimated street value of the narcotics is in excess of $4,500.

Both suspects were charged with two counts each of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of CDS with intent to distribute and possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 of the Madison Avenue Elementary School in Irvington.  Hubbard and Askew were also charged with conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.

The suspects were lodged at the county jail where they await bail hearings.