The Morris County Sheriff’s Office provided manpower for the extensive investigation that led to the takedown of a major fentanyl and heroin mill in Harrison whose alleged co-conspirators distributed drugs branded with stamps that have been linked to 84 fatal overdoses in the last year.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon appeared Thursday, March 21, with other law enforcement agencies at a press conference in Newark at which N.J. state Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced the arrests of three men in connection with the probe that seized about 32,500 individual doses of heroin and four kilos of fentanyl and heroin.
“I am proud that my office had a role in dismantling this life-destroying enterprise and I will continue to make ridding Morris County of narcotics and assisting people struggling with addiction priorities,” Sheriff Gannon said.
The Attorney General stated that narcotics were distributed in wax folds stamped with the same brand names that have been linked to 227 overdoses, including 84 deaths in the past year.
The Attorney General released the following details about the ongoing probe:
The arrests were made in an ongoing investigation by the New Jersey State Police Opioid Enforcement Task Force and the Division of Criminal Justice. They were assisted by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, Cliffside Park Police, Nutley Police, Harrison Police and Newark Police.
The New Jersey State Police recently established the Opioid Enforcement Task Force, designed to strategically target heroin and fentanyl sources of supply across the state. In October, the Department of Law & Public Safety, New Jersey State Police, was awarded a $2.8 million grant for this Task Force from the Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), Anti-Heroin Task Force Program.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, based on the evidence seized, it is estimated that the drug mill, set up in a luxury apartment at 300 Somerset Street in Harrison, was supplying 15,000 doses of fentanyl and heroin per day.
Timothy Guest, 45, of Irvington, N.J., allegedly operated the mill with associates working under him, including William Woodley, 27, of Belleville, N.J., and Selionel Orama, 25, of Cedar Grove, N.J. Those men were arrested on Thursday, March 14. They face first- and second-degree drug charges, including a charge of maintaining a narcotics production facility.
The Attorney General’s Office stated that the New Jersey State Police Opioid Enforcement Task Force was conducting surveillance in the area of the mill in Harrison on March 14 when they saw Guest leave the apartment building with a black duffel bag suspected to contain drugs and enter a Cadillac XTS. When State Police attempted to stop the Cadillac, Guest allegedly fled, striking two occupied troop cars. The Cadillac became disabled and detectives placed Guest under arrest. Meanwhile, Woodley and Orama fled from the mill building and also were arrested.
Investigators found 150 bricks of fentanyl in the black duffel bag in the Cadillac XTS. A brick consists of 50 individual doses of narcotics packaged in wax folds. Inside the drug mill, they seized three kilograms of fentanyl, one kilogram of heroin mixed with fentanyl, 500 bricks of fentanyl (approximately 25,000 individual doses containing fentanyl packaged for distribution), and drug milling equipment, including 29 coffee grinders, kilo presses, wax folds, and respirator masks.