What to Know
NJ's attorney general announced a monster takedown of a fentanyl and heroin mill in Harrison; one linked to 227 overdoses and 84 deaths
About 32,500 individual doses and 4 kilos of the drugs were seized in the investigation; fancy cars, including a Bentley, were also seized
Three men, all from the Garden State, were arrested; the ringleader allegedly tried to escape police in a Cadillac with drugs inside
Three men have been arrested in the takedown of a major fentanyl and heroin mill in New Jersey that has been linked to more than 200 overdoses, including 84 deaths, officials announced Thursday.
The drug mill ran out of a luxury apartment on Somerset Street in Harrison and supplied roughly 15,000 doses of fentanyl and heroin per day, prosecutors said. About 32,500 individual doses and four kilos of the drugs were seized in the investigation. All had unique stamps; the most deadly was named "Tom Brady."
Timothy Guest, a 45-year-old from Irvington, allegedly ran the mill with two associates, both New Jersey men in their 20s, working under him. They were arrested last week on first- and second-degree drug charges, including maintaining a narcotics production facility.
The New Jersey State Police Opioid Enforcement Task Force was conducting surveillance in the area the day of the arrests, March 14, when they saw Guest leave the apartment building with a black duffel bag and get into a Cadillac XTS, officials said.
Suspecting there were drugs in the bag, State Police tried to stop the Cadillac but Guest allegedly fled, striking two troopers' cars. At some point the Cadillac somehow became disabled, officials didn't say how, and detectives arrested Guest. The two other men arrested fled from the mill as that chase went on, but they too were nabbed.
Investigators found 150 bricks of fentanyl -- about 7,500 doses -- in the black duffel bag in the Cadillac XTS. Inside the drug mill, they seized three kilos of fentanyl, one kilo of heroin mixed with fentanyl, 500 bricks of fentanyl (about 25,000 individual doses) and drug milling equipment, including 29 coffee grinders, kilo presses, wax folds and respirator masks, officials said.
The fentanyl alone has the potency to kill hundreds of thousands of people.
They also found 43 rubber ink stamps used to stamp brands on the wax folds. Information obtained from police reports throughout the state indicates that 25 of those stamps bear the same brand names that have been linked to a total of 227 overdoses, including 84 fatal ones, officials said.
According to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Guest allegedly used a second location in Secaucus as a stash house to store proceeds from the drug ring. In that location, investigators found $200,000 in cash, a Bentley convertible worth about $400,000 and a Range Rover worth about $130,000, Grewal said.
Guest, who also faces an eluding charge, was being held in jail pending a detention hearing. The other two men were released subject to conditions following their detention hearings. Attorney information for Guest wasn't immediately available.
"We know that our state is home to far too many people struggling with addiction,” Grewal said in a statement. “But we ask that, no matter what challenges you’re facing in your life, if you see heroin stamped with these markings, please, please stay away from it. Your next fix could be your last."
You can see examples of the stamps here.
The arrests were made in an ongoing investigation by the New Jersey State Police Opioid Enforcement Task Force and the Division of Criminal Justice. They were assisted by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, Cliffside Park Police, Nutley Police and Newark Police.