North Ward Weapon/Drug Arrest

North Ward Weapon/Drug Arrest

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February 16, 2017

Contact: Sheriff Armando Fontoura (973) 621-4105

Newark – Two suspects were arrested yesterday by Essex County sheriff’s detectives as the result of separate investigations in the city’s North Ward and drug and weapons charges were filed against them.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that officers from his department’s Bureau of Narcotics conducted plainclothes surveillance operations on Wednesday at Stephen Crane Village and at Broadway and Crane Street.

“At Stephen Crane Village, our detectives observed a suspect, later identified as Shahid Cromer, 21 of Newark, sitting behind the wheel of his parked 2008 Ford Fusion on Cedar Lane,” Sheriff Fontoura said.  “Cromer was soon approached by a female.  After a brief conversation, Cromer exchanged items from his vehicle’s center console with the woman for cash.”

When the woman walked away from the scene the sheriff’s BON detectives boxed in Cromer’s car and announced their presence.

“The handle of a silver handgun was observed protruding from the center console and Cromer was ordered out of his car,” Fontoura added.  “As he exited his vehicle, Cromer then kicked a green cardboard box under the driver’s seat.  The box and the center console were found to contain 847 heroin-filled glassine envelopes, stamped “OOH WEE” in red ink, 247 small zip-lock bags and an additional large plastic sandwich bag of ‘crack’ cocaine and 6 grams of marijuana.”

The weapon, a fully loaded, .25 caliber, Gecado semi-automatic handgun, and a cache of ammunition were seized.  Also seized was $155 in cash.

Earlier on Wednesday, the sheriff’s BON detectives staged an undercover operation near the intersection of Crane Street and Broadway.

“Arriving on the scene were a female suspect and 43-year-old Luis Rodriguez of Newark,” Sheriff Fontoura noted.  “The two suspects were observed walking into the parking lot of 7 Crane Street where the woman removed a package that was secreted behind a garbage dumpster and handed it to Rodriguez.”

Rodriguez was followed to 82 Broadway.  As he loitered in the area, the sheriff’s detectives moved in to further investigate.

“Rodriguez was found to be in possession of 137 heroin-filled glassine envelopes, stamped “WARRIOR” in blue ink and he was placed under arrest,” the sheriff said.

A search for the female suspect proved negative.

The combined street value of the narcotics seized as a result of these two arrests is approximately $15,000.

Cromer was charged with 14 criminal counts, including the unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon while committing a narcotics crime, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and the possession and intent to distribute CDS.  He was also issued summonses for possession of CDS in a motor vehicle and for being an unlicensed driver.

Rodriguez was charged with possession of CDS, possession of CDS with intent to distribute and possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of Barringer 9th Grade Academy.  Rodriguez was also found to be the subject of an open warrant issued by the Newark municipal court.

The charges against both suspects were approved by the Essex County Prosecutor’s screening unit and both suspects were lodged at the county jail where they await a bail hearing.

Luis Rodriguez
Luis Rodriguez