Sheriff/Irvington Task Force Weapons/Narcotics Arrests

Sheriff/Irvington Task Force Weapons/Narcotics Arrests

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May 11, 2017

Contact: Sheriff Armando Fontoura (973) 621-4105

Newark – An adult male suspect and his alleged male juvenile accomplice were arrested on multiple weapons and drug charges on Wednesday afternoon by a law enforcement task force comprised of Essex County sheriff’s detectives and Irvington police officers.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that the task force staged a plainclothes surveillance operation at the intersection of Newark’s South 9th Street and Central Avenue in response to numerous neighborhood complaints of open-air narcotics trafficking in the area.

“Two suspects, later identified as Okbar Gillen, 19, and a 17-year-old male, both Newark residents, were observed loitering in the area,” Sheriff Fontoura said.  “The juvenile was soon approached by a male passerby on a bicycle.  After a brief conversation, the juvenile exchanged items from his vest pocket with the passerby for cash.”

Within minutes, a similar scenario played out when a female passerby engaged Gillen in a brief conversation that resulted in an exchange of items from Gillen’s waistband with the woman for cash.

“A passing Newark police cruiser prompted the suspects to walk away from the intersection,” Fontoura noted.  “At that point our officers identified themselves in order to further investigate.  Gillen removed a handgun from his waistband, tossed it into nearby bushes and attempted to run from the scene.  After a brief foot chase, he was tackled to the ground and placed under arrest.  Gillen was in possession of 11 vials of ‘crack’ cocaine and $36 in cash.”

The juvenile was arrested without incident and he was found to be in possession of two vials of ‘crack’ cocaine and $42 in cash.

“The weapon, a fully loaded, 9mm, Interarms semi-automatic handgun, was retrieved from the bushes,” Fontoura added.

Gillen and the juvenile were each charged with 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 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School.

Gillen was additionally charged with the unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of a weapon while committing a narcotics crime and resisting arrest.

The 17-year-old male was lodged at the Essex County Youth Detention Center where he awaits a hearing in Family Court.

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