Newark – An 18 year old male was arraignment today on numerous narcotics offenses and weapon charges following his arrest yesterday by Essex County sheriff’s Detectives.
Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that officers from his department’s Bureau of Narcotics conducted a plain clothes surveillance operation late Monday morning in the area of Johnson and Clinton Avenue in the City of Newark. This was in response to numerous citizen complaints of open-air drug trafficking in that area.
During the operation, suspect Marquel O’Neal of Newark was observed by Detectives loitering in the area. O’Neal was approached by a male passerby later identified as Joseph Wagner, Fontoura said. After a brief conversation with Wagner O’Neal removed items from his fanny pack in exchange for cash.
As Bureau of Narcotics Detectives moved in to further investigate, O’Neal and Wagner attempted to leave the scene on foot but were quickly detained. O’Neal was found to be in possession of a fully loaded 9mm Ruger semi automatic handgun which was concealed in his waistband, Fontoura said. O’Neal’s fanny pack was found to contain a total of 105 vials of crack cocaine and 163 heroin-filled envelopes stamped “SSAM11” in red ink.
’Neal was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of Malcolm X. Shabazz School, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 feet of Terrell James Park, the unlawful possession of a handgun and possession of a handgun while committing a narcotics crime.
At today’s arraignment O’Neal was ordered held at the Essex County jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash bond only.
Wagner was issued a summons for possession of CDS and will be arraigned at a later date.