Prison Sentences Help Break Statewide Heroin Pipeline, NJ Officials Say
ATLANTIC CITY — Two people involved in a drug ring that distributed more than 30,000 doses of heroin throughout Atlantic and Ocean Counties will face long prison terms after pleading guilty to various charges.
Richard Michilena, 26, of Elmwood Park, and Bolivar Delacruz, 39 of Lodi, were arrested in April 2015 as part of an eight-month investigation by the Atlantic City Task Force.
Attorney General Christopher Perrino announced Monday that the pair pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to distribute and that 10 year sentences will be recommended for both.
"By supplying large quantities of heroin for distribution in two of the counties hardest hit by the opiate epidemic, these two men were profiting from addiction and death," Porrino said.
Elie Honig, director of the Division of Criminal Justice, said the arrests were part of an effort to break a "pipeline" of heroin that stretched from Paterson all the way to Atlantic City.
"Strategic investigations such as this one save lives in two ways: by disrupting the supply of deadly heroin and by reducing the violence inevitably associated with street-level dealing," she said.
According to Porrino, the amount of heroin seized during the investigation had a street value of $52,000, and that the opiate fentanyl had been cut into it. The investigation also showed a juvenile was involved in selling the heroin.
The Atlantic City Task Force investigation included the State Police, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, the Atlantic City Police Department, the Atlantic County Sheriff's Office, the Pleasantville Police Department, and the State Parole Board.
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