North Ward Cocaine/Marijuana Arrests

North Ward Cocaine/Marijuana Arrests

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February 26, 2017

Contact: Sheriff Armando Fontoura (973) 621-4105

Newark – As part on on-going investigations into drug trafficking in the city’s North Ward, a search warrant was executed for a local bodega and its attached residence, located at 534 Broadway, on Saturday afternoon and two suspects, a father and his son, were arrested by Essex County sheriff’s detectives.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that officers from his department’s Bureau of Narcotics, armed with the warrant, surrounded the Mr. Mini Mart convenience store and staged a plainclothes surveillance operation yesterday.

“The target of our investigation was the father, Manuel Ramirez, 49, who was observed removing a black plastic bag from a nearby parked car,” Sheriff Fontoura said.  “Our officers had an unobstructed view as the elder Ramirez brought the bag into the bodega and placed it behind the counter.”

At this point, the sheriff’s detectives moved into the store, detained Ramirez and simultaneously made a forced entry into the residential part of the building.

“The black bag at the bodega was found to contain 64 grams of cocaine and 21 grams of marijuana which were packaged for street distribution,” Fontoura noted.  “In gaining entry to the residential part of the structure, Ramirez’s son, Norberto, 23, was found in the hallway.  Upon spotting our officers, the younger Ramirez threw another plastic bag into a bedroom and attempted to flee the scene on foot.  He was immediately taken into custody.”

The second plastic bag was found to contain additional 182 grams of marijuana and 88 Tramadol tablets, an opioid pain medication.

The street value of the narcotics is estimated at $9,000.

The entire structure was monitored by multiple surveillance cameras as well as DVD recorders and video display terminals.

Manuel and Norberto Ramirez were each charged with two counts of the possession of a controlled dangerous substance and one count each of possession of CDS with intent to distribute and the unlawful maintenance of a fortified narcotics distribution facility.

The charges were all approved under New Jersey’s new bail reform guidelines and both suspects were lodged at the county jail where they await a bail hearing.