46 charged in massive New Jersey drug bust centered around social club

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A massive drug operation centered around a social club in Newark has been busted, authorities announced Tuesday, with dozens of arrests and more than $1 million worth of drugs and $300,000 in cash confiscated.

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said the Essex County Prosecutor's Office executed search warrants in the Ironbound section of Newark, as well as in Harrison, Kearny, and locations in Monmouth and Ocean counties, resulting in the confiscation of approximately 23,000 grams of marijuana and two kilos of cocaine.

The bust was the the result of an eight-month investigation and allegedly involved drugs coming up from Monmouth and Ocean counties and being sold throughout the Ironbound section from the club on Monroe Street, where gambling was also allegedly happening.

Dubbed "Operation Short Storm," the raids resulted in the arrests of 31 people. Another 16 have been charged but remain at large. In addition, 12 vehicles, including two Mercedes Benz 550 sedans, were seized.

It is alleged that drug dealers delivered to buyers at their homes or other locations throughout the Ironbound section of Newark in what was a retail business on wheels. Authorities say buyers would call in their orders, and drugs would be delivered shortly.

"These distributors operated in a way that made them feel they were immune from detection," Stephens said. "The methods employed were designed to avoid attracting the attention of law enforcement. The distributors used non-descript vehicles. Having a well-established customer base gave the drug dealers a false sense of comfort. They thought they could sell narcotics with impunity."

In addition to the cocaine and marijuana, seven guns -- including a .223 assault rifle and 12-gauge shotgun -- were recovered, along with nearly $300,000 in U.S. currency, 62 oxycodone pills with a street value of $1,550, and three Xanax pills with a street value of $30.

The search warrants were executed on August 22 and 23 by detectives from the Essex County Prosecutor's Office along with officers from police agencies in Newark, Harrison, Kearny, Monmouth County and Ocean County.

Jewelry, including apparent Rolex, Brietling and Gucci watches, were also seized.

The suspects are identified as:

1. Helder Goncalves, age 41, of Newark, charged with Conspiracy, (3) counts Possession of CDS, (3) counts Possession of CDS w/intent to distribute, promoting gambling, Fortified premises, (2) possession of a weapon (Handgun) while committing a CDS offense, (2) counts of violation of weapon regulatory provisions Possession of CDS w/ 1000 feet of a school, Possession of CDS w/ 500 of a Park, Maintaining or operating controlled dangerous substance production facility, Possession of paraphernalia.

2. Aurelia Goncalves, age 39, of Newark, was arrested on outstanding warrants; Also charged with Possession of a weapon (Handgun).

3. David Pereira, age 45, of Keansburg was charged with Co Conspiracy, (2) counts Possession of CDS, (2) counts Possession of CDS w/ intent to distribute, 91) distribution of CDS (cocaine) Possession of Prescription legend drugs, Possession of prescription pills w/ intent to distribute, violation of weapons regulatory provisions (Handgun), Possession of hollow point bullets, Possession of a weapon (Handgun) while committing a CDS offense.

4. Valeria Victer, age 21, of Keansburg was charged with Conspiracy, Possession of CDS, Possession of CDS w/ intent to distribute, Possession of Prescription legend, Possession of prescription legend drugs w/ intent to distribute, violation of weapons regulatory provisions (Handgun) Possession of hollow point bullets, Possession of a weapon (Handgun) while committing a CDS offense.

5. Jaime McCullough, age 42, of Newark, was charged with Conspiracy, Possession of CDS, Possession of CDS w/intent to distribute, Maintaining or operating controlled dangerous substance production facility, Possession of CDS w/ 1000 feet of a school, Possession of CDS w/ 500 of a Park, (2) violation of weapons regulatory provisions (Handgun), (2) counts of Possession of a weapon (Handgun) while committing a CDS offense. Possession of paraphernalia.

6. Avamarie Pinho, age 46, of Newark was charged with Conspiracy, (2) violation of weapons regulatory provisions, Possession of a weapon (Handgun), (2) Possession of a weapon while committing a CDS offense, Possession of CDS, Possession CDS w/ intent to distribute, Possession of prohibited device, possession of hollow point bullets.

7. Johnathan Martins, age 28, of Newark, was charged with Conspiracy, Possession of CDS, Possession of CDS w/ intent to distribute, Possession of CDS within 1000 feet of a school, Possession of Paraphernalia.

8. Aristides Stradiotti, age 33, of Newark, was charged with Conspiracy, (3) counts of Possession of CDS, (3) counts of Possession of CDS w/ intent to distribute, (3) counts of Possession of CDS within 1000 feet of a school, (3) counts of Possession of CDS within 500 feet of a Park, Possession of drug paraphernalia Conspiracy to promote gambling.

9. Pedro Moutinho-Alves, age 41, of Newark, was charged with Conspiracy, Distribution of CDS.

10. Antonio Marques, age 38, of Harrison, was charged with Conspiracy, Distribution of CDS.

11. Brian Teixeira, age 29, of Kearny, was charged with Conspiracy, Possession of prescription legend drugs.

12. Abner Torres, age 41, of Newark (Not Apprehended), was charged with Conspiracy, Possession of CDS, Possession of CDS w/intent to distribute.

13. Jovanni Perez, age 39, of Kearny, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

14. Kelvin Portes, age 30, of Elizabeth, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

15. David Borges, age 33, of Hillside, is charged with was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

16. Frank Cunha, age 55, of Harrison, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

17. Jose Carneiro, age 52, of Newark, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

18. Jose Dacosta, age 64, of Kearny, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

19. Jose Dealmeida, age 35, of Kearny, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

20. Alan Devivo, age 63, of Brandley Beach, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

21. Marinete Doyle, age 52, of Kearny, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

22. Lillian Duarte, age 26, of Newark, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

23. Luiz Esilva, age 53, of Linden, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

24. Annmarie Golya, age 50, of Kearny, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

25. Jose Hermo, age 44, of Harrison, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

26. Edna Lovelace, age 48, of Newark, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

27. James Lovelace, age 51, of Newark, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

28. Joseph Longueira, age 50, Union, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

29. John Malik, age 36, of North Bergen, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

30. Erica Marcinczyk, age 31, of Sayreville, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

31. Juan Martinez, age 43, of Belford, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

32. Gustavo Mendez, age 50, of Rahway, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

33. Brian Monteiro, age 32, of Kearny, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

34. Carlos Nicolau, age 38, of Kearny, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

35. Rafael Oliveira, age 32, of Newark, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

36. Richard Palma, age 50, of Newark, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

37. Fernando Pires, age 48, of Perth Amboy, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

38. Vanderlei Santana, age 38, of Newark, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

39. Carlos Simoes, age 37, of Newark, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

40. Danny Tavares, age 34, of Newark, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

41. Angelo Trindade, age 42, Rahway, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

42. Jose Paz, age 38, of Newark, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

43. Angel Ruiz, age 46, of Belleville, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

44. Michael Sori, age 49, of East Rutherford, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

45. Jose Fernandez, age 70, of Newark, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS.

46. Jennifer Stradiotti, age 35, of Newark, was charged with (3) counts of Possession of CDS, (3) counts of Possession of CDS w/ intent to distribute, (3) counts of Possession of CDS within 1000 feet of a school, (3) counts of Possession of CDS within 500 feet of a Park, Possession of drug paraphernalia.

47. Samantha Montez, age 24, of Hillside, was charged with Conspiracy, Possession of CDS, Possession of CDS w/ intent to distribute, Possession of CDS within 1000 feet of a school, Possession of Paraphernalia.

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