Essex County Sheriff’s Office
August 15, 2018
Contact: Sheriff Armando Fontoura (973) 621-4105
Newark – Seven male suspects were arrested on multiple weapons and drug charges Tuesday afternoon in a series of raids by a law enforcement task force comprised of Essex County sheriff’s detectives and Newark and Bloomfield police officers.
Sheriff Armando Fontoura said the first arrests occurred shortly after one p.m. at Stephen Crane Plaza where three individuals, later identified as Ibn Williams, 26 of Newark, Maurice Kelly, 34 of Newark, and Juan Gonzalez, 49 of Belleville, were taken into custody after an alleged narcotics sale.
“Gonzalez was observed giving cash to Kelly who in turn escorted him to Williams who reached into his waistband and handed items to Gonzalez,” Sheriff Fontoura said. “Gonzalez was followed from the scene and was found to be in possession of five plastic jugs of ‘crack’ cocaine.”
The task force officers moved in to further investigate and found Williams to be in possession of 45 heroin-filled envelops, stamped “SAVAGE” in red ink, an additional 42 jugs of ‘crack’ cocaine and $270 in cash. Kelly was found to be in possession of $65 in alleged drug proceeds.
One hour later, at Roseville Avenue and North 7th Street, a second surveillance operation was conducted where Hannif Brooks, 34 of Newark, and James Hines, 31 of East Orange, were observed loitering in the area.
“Hines were soon approached by Julian Santana, 48 of Newark, and, following a brief conversation, Hines flashed a two finger signal to Brooks” Fontoura noted. “Brooks then exchanged items from his pants pocket with Santana for cash,”
Santana was followed from the scene and was found to be in possession of two vials of ‘crack’ cocaine.
“Back at the intersection, our officers found Brooks to be in possession of an additions 41 vials of cocaine and $51 in cash. Hines had $41 in his possession.
Tuesday’s third stake-out occurred at Lincoln Park on Broad Street at 4 p.m.
“Here, our detectives watched as Kevin McKenzie, 32 of Newark, constantly adjusted his waistband which is consistent for those carrying a firearm as he walked through the recreational facility where a large group of local residents and their children were enjoying the day,” Fontoura pointed out.
When the task force officers approached McKenzie for questioning for the safety of the park patrons he ran from the scene.
“The suspect was arrested at Halsey Street where he was found to be in possession of a loaded, .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun,” the sheriff added.
Williams and Kelly were each charged with the sale and distribution of narcotics and two counts each of possession of CDS, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of Park Elementary School and possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public housing complex. They were also charged with conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.
Brooks and Hines were each charged with the sale and distribution of CDS, possession of CDS, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of Newark School of the Arts, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public housing complex and conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.
McKenzie was charged with the unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and resisting arrest. McKenzie was also found to be wanted on a warrant for contempt of court.
Williams, Kelly, Brooks, Hines, and McKenzie were lodged at the county jail where they await bail hearings.
Gonzalez and Santana were issued summonses and released on their own recognizance. They will be arraigned at a later date.