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Essex County Sheriff’s Office


June 27, 2018

Contact: Sheriff Armando Fontoura (973) 621-4105

 Newark – A male suspect was arrested this afternoon by Essex County sheriff’s detectives and multiple drug charges were filed against him.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that in response to numerous neighborhood complaints of open-air narcotics trafficking in the area of Newark’s 9th Avenue and South 13th Street officers from his department’s Bureau of Narcotics conducted a plainclothes surveillance operation at that location on Wednesday.

“Jovan Phillips, 36 of Newark, was observed loitering near the intersection,” Sheriff Fontoura said.  “When a male passerby engaged the suspect in conversation Phillips walked over to a nearby orange traffic cone, removed items that had been secreted within it and exchanged them with the passerby for cash.”

When sheriff’s detectives announced their presence Phillips ran from the scene and climbed a fire escape at a townhouse, located at 113 South 13th Street, making it to the roof.

“With the assistance of the Newark Fire Division Phillips was escorted down from the roof without further incident,” Fontoura added.  “A search of the traffic cone yielded a large plastic bag that contained 116 heroin-filled envelops, stamped ‘FIRE BALL’ in blue ink, 24 vials of ‘crack’ cocaine and four bags filled with marijuana.  Phillips was also found to be in possession of $77 in alleged drug proceeds.”

Phillips was charged with three 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 feet of Donald Payne Technical School.  Phillips was also charged with resisting arrest and was found to be the subject of three Superior Court warrants for violation of parole and prior weapons charges.

A canvass of the area for the passerby proved negative.

Phillips was lodged at the county jail where he awaits a bail hearing.