The city’s police working hand in hand with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) conducted three simultaneous raids in Paterson and Lodi on Tuesday afternoon seizing large quantities of drugs and more than $100,000 in suspected drug money.
Police seized 3 bags of crack cocaine, 11 bags or 2.2 pounds of cocaine, 1 bag or 1.2 pounds of heroin, and 4 bags and 2 jars of marijuana, and 12 Percocet pills, authorities said. Two guns, Taurus Millennium PT 140 PRO 40 cal. and a Smith & Wesson 9MM, and 82 hollow point bullets were confiscated.
Gabriel Mercado, 37, of Lodi, and Sammy Cuevas, 40, of Paterson were apprehended in the raids. Authorities raided 163 Beech Street and 957 East 27th Street in Paterson. And 12 Oration Place in Lodi at around 4:30 p.m.
Police also searched two vehicles at the same time, authorities said. Police said both vehicles had hidden compartment to conceal weapons and drugs. Both are in the process of being seized. Authorities confiscated drug paraphernalia and charged both men with large number of drug and weapons charges.
More than $100,000 in suspected drug money was seized, authorities said.
Authorities began investigating the large-scale drug operation in September.
“The tireless efforts to rid our city of drugs has led to the successful closure of a major drug distribution operation,” police director Jerry Speziale said.