New Jersey

Former NYU Grad Student and Hospital Intern Arrested in Alleged Million Dollar NJ Meth Bust

Authorities are still searching for a second suspect

What to Know

  • Nearly a million dollars worth of meth was seized after major drug manufacturing facility was shut down Monday night in NJ, authorities say
  • Sheriff Armando Fontoura said that the seizure and take down of the drug facility was a result of a two-month investigation
  • Brian Chedahackembruch, 23, was arrested; Police are searching for a second suspect who is at large

A former NYU graduate student was arrested in a raid of a suburban New Jersey house where police allegedly seized nearly a million dollars worth of meth Monday night.

Brian Chedahackembruch, 23, was arrested and faces a slew of drug-related charges in connection to the raid that took place in a suburban home allegedly used as a drug manufacturing facility, according to Essex County officials.

On his social media profile, Chedahackembruch claimed to be an engineering student at NYU and a research associate at NYU Langone.

An NYU spokesperson told NBC 4 New York that at one time Chedahackembruch was enrolled in an online graduate program through NYU's engineering school, but he did not receive a degree and is not currently enrolled, and has not been for some months.

NYU Langone denied that Chedahackembruch was ever a clinical research associate there. He once held an unpaid research internship involving computation at the center, the hospital said, with no access to wet labs or chemicals supplies. The internship ended some months ago as well. 

Sheriff Armando Fontoura said Tuesday that the Monday night seizure and takedown of the drug facility was a result of a two-month investigation and netted the arrest of one person, while authorities continue to search for a second suspect who is at large.

According to Fontoura, officers executed a search warrant at a West Orange residence on Lorelei Street and found Chedahackembruch in his bedroom.

During the search of the house, according to authorities, detectives recovered 4,450 grams of methamphetamine in both liquid and crystal form, 96 ounces of gamma butyrolactone, a chemical that is used to convert one drug into another, 74 grams of marijuana, a wide assortment of narcotics paraphernalia, including butane torches, digital scales and plastic funnels, $3,840 in cash, four BB guns, a video surveillance system and bank deposit receipts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Both the Nutley and New Jersey State Police HAZMAT teams were called to the scene because of the toxicity of the narcotics.

“The traffic in methamphetamines is not unknown in our urban areas as it is more prevalent in rural areas,” Fontoura said in a statement. “However, from 2015 to 2017, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Northeast Regional Lab has seen a 5,657 percent increase in the total weight of methamphetamine exhibits analyzed from 4,468 grams in 2015 to 257,206 grams in 2017. Meth is a psychostimulant drug that is similar to amphetamines and usage may lead to structural and functional changes in the brain associated with emotion and memory, and some of these changes may be irreversible.”

Following Chedahackembruch’s arrest, he complained of physical discomfort due to a recent medical condition, according to Fontoura, and was transported to University Hospital in Newark by West Orange EMS where he remains under guard.

Chedahackembruch was charged with three counts each of possession of CDS, possession of CDS with intent to distribute and possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public park. He was also charged with maintaining a drug manufacturing facility, maintaining fortified drug premises, possession of a weapon while committing a narcotics crime, possession of narcotics paraphernalia and conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.

Attorney information for Chedahackembruch was not immediately known.

Authorities say that a second suspect, who is also a resident of the same Lorelei Road address, remains at large and similar charges have been filed against him.

Essex County sheriff’s detectives and officers from the Newark, Bloomfield, Irvington and West Orange police departments assisted in the case.

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