An alleged drug dealer has been arrested and $1.6 million worth of heroin, cocaine, crystal methamphetamine seized, authorities said on Monday night.
Felix Rodriguez, 40, of Paterson, is charged with first-degree maintaining a drug manufacturing facility, first-degree possession with intent to distribute cocaine, first-degree possession with intent to distribute heroin, first-degree possession with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine, and second-degree possession of a firearm while committing a drug offense. He is also charged with second-degree conspiracy to distribute drugs (three counts), third-degree possession of drugs (three counts), and third-degree possession of drugs within 1,000 feet of a school (two counts).
On April 12, 2023, detectives with New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and Paterson police, assisted by members of the New Jersey State Police and the Passaic County SWAT Team, executed search warrants at an apartment on East 26th Street that was being used as a drug production facility and at Rodriguez’s apartment on East 28th Street.
At the East 26th Street address, detectives seized two kilos of heroin with a street value of $1 million, four kilos of cocaine with a street value of $220,000, and various paraphernalia indicative of a milling operation for the packaging of drugs. At Rodriguez’s residence on East 28th Street, detectives seized two and a half kilos of crystal methamphetamine with a street value of $400,000, half a kilo of cocaine with a street value of $28,000, and a .357 revolver.
Rodriguez was arrested at his residence and transported to the Paterson Police Department for processing.
The drug bust was part of “Operation 293 Flip,” a joint effort by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice’s Gangs and Organized Crime Bureau North Unit and Paterson Police Narcotics Unit. Their joint investigation into Rodriguez began in February.
New Jersey attorney general Matthew Platkin, who took over the embattled Paterson police force in March, said the dismantling of the drug mill demonstrates “a shared commitment to making Paterson safer for all.”