Narcotics stamped with the same brand names that have been linked to more than 50 overdoses across New Jersey were recovered in a takedown of three drug mills operating out a community complex in Newark, the New Jersey State Police has announced.

Following an eight-month investigation, State Police arrested 19 suspects for their alleged roles related to the distribution of narcotics in wax folds, according to the announcement.

As part of "Operation Falling Spires," authorities on May 19 executed search warrants at seven apartments in the Garden Spires complex and arrested nine suspects in the process. As a result of the searches, authorities seized four guns, 500 grams of a heroin/fentanyl mixture, 5 grams of crack, ammunition, high-capacity magazines, materials for packaging narcotics, and stamps used to brand the narcotics.

Recovered stamps include "Frank Lucas" and "SRT," State Police said. Those two brands alone have been linked to five fatal overdoses in New Jersey.

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“These operations are designed to target drug distribution networks and choke off the supply line of deadly opioids," said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. "Shutting down distribution where it originates prevents lethal brands of stamps, like those seized in this operation, from entering our communities, which greatly reduces both overdoses and fatalities."

Based on information obtained during the investigation, NJSP said, detectives discovered that multiple drug mills were being operated out of the complex and were a distribution point for narcotics in the area. Authorities arrested 10 additional suspects over the course of their investigation.

The suspects

Taakiya Grant
NJ State Police
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Taakiya Grant, 33, of Newark

  • Maintaining a heroin/fentanyl production facility
  • Possession of heroin/fentanyl
  • Possession with intent to distribute drug paraphernalia
  • Distribution of heroin/fentanyl
  • Possessing a firearm while conspiring to manufacture and distribute heroin/fentanyl
  • Receiving stolen property
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Derrol Nickels, 51, of Newark

  • Maintaining a heroin/fentanyl production facility
  • Possession of heroin/fentanyl
  • Possession with intent to distribute drug paraphernalia
  • Distribution of heroin/fentanyl
  • Distribution of drugs within 500 feet of a park
  • Distribution of drugs within 1000 feet of a school
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Tashan Black, 22, of Newark

  • Maintaining a heroin/fentanyl production facility
  • Possession of heroin/fentanyl
  • Possession with intent to distribute drug paraphernalia
  • Distribution of heroin/fentanyl
  • Distribution of drugs within 500 feet of a park
  • Distribution of drugs within 1000 feet of a school
  • Possession of a high-capacity magazine
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Jihad Snead, 28, of Newark

  • Maintaining a heroin/fentanyl production facility
  • Possession of heroin/fentanyl
  • Distribution of heroin/fentanyl
  • Distribution of drugs within 500 feet of a park
  • Distribution of drugs within 1000 feet of a school
  • Conspiracy
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Ibrahim Bennett, 35, of Newark

  • Maintaining a heroin/fentanyl production facility
  • Possession of heroin/fentanyl
  • Distribution of heroin/fentanyl
  • Distribution of drugs within 500 feet of a park
  • Distribution of drugs within 1000 feet of a school
  • Conspiracy
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Isaiah Parrish, 23, of Newark

  • Possession of a stolen handgun
  • Possession of hollow-point ammunition
  • Possession of large capacity magazine
  • Possession of heroin/fentanyl
  • Distribution of heroin/fentanyl
  • Distribution of drugs within 500 feet of a park
  • Distribution of drugs within 1000 feet of a school
  • Conspiracy
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Jabriel Brown, 24, of Newark

  • Possession of drugs
  • Distribution of drugs
  • Distribution of drugs within 500 feet of a park
  • Distribution of drugs within 1000 feet of a school
handcuffs (BlakeDavidTaylor, ThinkStock)
ThinkStock
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Faquan Johnson, 22, of Newark

  • Possession of a handgun without a permit
  • Certain persons not to possess a weapon
  • Possession of heroin/fentanyl
  • Distribution of heroin/fentanyl
  • Distribution of drugs within 500 feet of a park
  • Distribution of drugs within 1000 feet of a school
  • Conspiracy
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Dashaun Wright, 32, of Newark

  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin/fentanyl
  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin/fentanyl within 500 feet of a park
  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin/fentanyl within 1000 feet of a school
  • Conspiracy
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Carnel Wright, 22, of Woodbridge

  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin/fentanyl
  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin/fentanyl within 500 feet of a park
  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin/fentanyl within 1000 feet of a school
  • Conspiracy
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Ray Odom, 58, of Newark

  • Possession of heroin/fentanyl
  • Distribution of heroin/fentanyl
  • Distribution of heroin/fentanyl within 500 feet of a park
  • Distribution of heroin/fentanyl within 1000 feet of a school
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Aquah Woolard, 20, Newark

  • Possession of heroin/fentanyl
  • Distribution of heroin/fentanyl
  • Distribution of heroin/fentanyl within 500 feet of a park
  • Distribution of heroin/fentanyl within 1000 feet of a school
  • Conspiracy
fingerprint check (Jan Priems, ThinkStock)
Jan Priems, ThinkStock
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Donald Scott,26, of Newark

  • Possession of drugs
  • Possession of drugs with intent to distribute
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Levar Parker, 47, of Newark

  • Possession of heroin/fentanyl
  • Possession of drug packing material
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Alquan Parker, 22, of Newark

  • Possession of heroin/fentanyl
  • Possession of drug packing material
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Jamar Horne, 42, of Newark

  • Possession of heroin/fentanyl
  • Possession of drug packing material
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Al Rashid Turner, 43, of Newark

  • Possession with intent to distribute drug paraphernalia
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Terrence Woods, 37, of Newark

  • Possession of heroin/fentanyl
NJ State Police
NJ State Police
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Naim Stewart, 27, of Newark

  • Eluding

NJ teachers and educators caught in sex crime busts

Over the past few years, state lawmakers have taken on the challenge of dealing with accused child predators among the ranks of teachers and educators.

In 2018, the so-called “pass the trash” law went into effect, requiring stricter New Jersey school background checks related to child abuse and sexual misconduct.

The follow individuals were arrested over the past several years. Some have been convicted and sentenced to prison, while others have accepted plea deals for probation.

Others cases are still pending, including some court delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.