Twenty reputed gang members of the Bloods, ranging in age from 18-53, were arrested over the last five days following a huge cocaine and heroin operation bust by Essex law enforcement officials. Prosecutor Paula T. Dow made the announcement yesterday, adding police recovered a significant amount of illegal drugs, weapons and cash during a series of raids in Essex County.
At the time of the arrests, some of the suspects were armed with loaded semi-automatic handguns. Detectives seized more than 500 grams of cocaine and 100 grams of heroin. In addition, three loaded semi-automatic handguns, three vehicles and approximately $50,000 in cash were recovered. Seven additional targets remain at large.
Initiated in August 2008, the investigation dubbed ‚ÄúOperation Trifecta‚Äù traced an elaborate cocaine and heroin distribution operation that sold large quantities of drugs to gang members and associates in Newark, Orange, South Orange, Irvington and Elizabeth, said Prosecutor Dow. Officials estimate several hundred grams of cocaine and approximately 100 bricks of heroin were being sold each week.
Terrell Horton, 34, Tirik Jackson, 36, Stephon Johnson, 35, and Jamal Wiley, 34, all of Newark, were the main targets of a joint investigation by the Essex County Prosecutor‚Äôs Gang and Narcotics VIPER Unit, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Essex County Sheriff‚Äôs Office, Newark Police, Orange Police, South Orange Police and Maplewood Police.