Bergen County Man Arrested for Alleged Role in Central Jersey Drug Trafficking Operation
Operation Bird Cage Targets Drug Trafficking Network in Middlesex County & Somerset County, NJ
A total of 20 people, including one from Bergen County, NJ, have been charged so far in connection with an alleged drug trafficking operation in Central Jersey. The arrests were made at the conclusion of an exhaustive investigation by law enforcement agencies that included the New Jersey State Police, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, the U.S. Postal Inspector, and numerous local police departments. For five months, authorities gathered evidence and identified suspects who allegedly played roles in the drug distribution network. According to police, the group distributed cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs like oxycodone, roxycodone, suboxone, and morphine throughout Middlesex County and Somerset County, NJ.
The official name for the law enforcement operation was Operation Bird Cage. Once detectives concluded their investigation, they obtained search warrants for various locations in Bergen County, Middlesex County, and Somerset County, New Jersey. During the subsequent drug busts, police reportedly found, and seized, more than one kilogram of cocaine, 2,010 bags of heroin, one pound of marijuana, an unspecified amount of methamphetamine, 298 Oxycodone pills, six Roxycodone pills, 247 Suboxone pills, 48 morphine pills, 15 ecstasy pills, 294 unidentified pills, and drug manufacturing equipment that included a hydraulic kilo-press. Early estimates indicate that the seized narcotics have a street value of $370,745.
Police reportedly seized nine motor vehicles, as well. If it is determined that the cars and SUVs were used in furtherance of illegal drug distribution activity, the prosecutors’ offices handling the criminal charges in the case may be allowed to keep the property because of the New Jersey civil forfeiture law. The same is also true of the $98,159 in cash that police seized.
Agencies that assisted with the execution of the search warrants in the Central Jersey drug trafficking case include the Hillsborough Police Department, the South Bound Brook Police Department, the Dunellen Police Department, the Bound Brook K-9 unit, the Bergen County regional SWAT team, the Middlesex County SWAT team, the Somerset County SWAT team, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Group 3.
Felony Drug Crime Charges for Dumont Man
One of the men arrested by police is from Dumont in Bergen County, New Jersey. Leon Blue, Jr., a 52-year-old resident of Dumont, has been charged with second degree crimes that include promoting organized street crime, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), and conspiracy, as well as third degree crimes that include possession of a CDS and financial facilitation of criminal activity.
Other major suspects in the Central Jersey drug trafficking operation who were arrested by police include Robert Cardinal from Dunellen in Middlesex County, NJ, Georgiann Cardinal from Dunellen, Timothy “TJ” Jenkins from Hillsborough in Somerset County, NJ, and Michael “Low Rider Mike” Wayne from South Bound Brook in Somerset County, New Jersey. Cardinal faces the most serious charges for first degree leader of a narcotics trafficking network.
Additionally, several people have been accused of playing lesser roles in the Central Jersey drug trafficking ring. Police arrested residents of South River, Piscataway, and South Plainfield in Middlesex County, NJ; Elizabeth and Rahway in Union County, NJ; and Union Beach in Monmouth County, New Jersey.
NJ Drug Distribution Network Also Allegedly Trafficked Illegal Firearms
The New Jersey drug distribution network was also allegedly distributing illegal firearms in Middlesex County and Somerset County, NJ. Drug raids by police allegedly turned up 19 weapons, including multiple handguns, rifles, shotguns, and assault firearms.
Many of those arrested by police face both drug offense charges and weapons offense charges. For instance, Robert Cardinal has been charged with unlawful transfer or sale of an assault firearm. If convicted on the third degree felony gun charges, Cardinal could potentially be sentenced to 3-5 years in New Jersey State Prison. Michael Wayne would be subject to even more severe penalties if convicted because he has been charged with second degree unlawful possession of an assault firearm.
Contact Aggressive Bergen County Drug Crime Lawyers Today
The Tormey Law Firm is an experienced criminal defense team that helps clients fight drug crime charges throughout Bergen County, NJ. If you have been arrested and charged with cocaine distribution, heroin possession, a prescription drug offense, or any other drug crime in New Jersey, we can assist you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.