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DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force and NJSP Search of Quiet Neighborhood Home Uncovers Heroin Mill and $6 Million of Heroin

DEC 21 (CLIFFSIDE PARK, N.J.)  The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New York Drug Enforcement Task Force (NYDETF) and New Jersey State Police (NJSP) detectives assigned to the Drug Trafficking North Unit executed a search warrant at 423 Nelson Avenue, an upscale residential neighborhood on December 20th.  As they were about to approach the home, Julio Cesar Mendoza, 34, of 574 161st Street, New York N.Y. walked outside and was arrested with two kilos of heroin secured around his waist.  The kilos were shaped like thick insoles of shoes, possibly indicating a way they may have been smuggled into the country.  A photo of similar drug packaging is provided by the DEA and is attached below.

Julio Cesar Mendoza.

Inside, investigators found a fully operational heroin production facility from which they seized approximately 16 more pounds of heroin, some in the insole-type packaging.  They also found distribution quantities of crystal methamphetamine and numerous items related to the processing and packaging of drugs.  If broken down to individual packages, the street value of the narcotics seized is estimated to be $6 million.  That much heroin could have generated up to 600,000 decks, or individual doses of the highly addictive drug to be sold on the streets of New Jersey and New York.

Mendoza is believed to be the primary operator of that drug operation.  There were no other persons in the home at the time of the arrest and search.  The facility in the home could have been operated with the help of other people. 

DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell stated, “The DEA Task Force and the New Jersey State Police found and dismantled a heroin mill containing enough heroin to produce hundreds of thousands of bags of heroin destined for the Tri-State area.  Due to law enforcement’s efforts, nearly $6 million worth of heroin was found hidden in a house located in a quiet suburban community.”  SAC Crowell applauds the diligent work of the NJSP and the DEA’s NYDETF comprised of agents and detectives of the DEA, New York Police Department and New York State Police.

“Every detective, agent and officer involved in this operation can be proud of the gift they have given to our region this holiday season.  That is a lot of drugs that will never poison our residents, and the intelligence gathered will hopefully lead to further disruption of the drug trade,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.

Drug packaging in the shape of shoe insoles.

The cooperative investigation will continue to learn more about the source and destination of the drugs.  Evidence seized during the search was taken to Totowa State Police Station to be processed, and then the State Police North Lab to be analyzed and eventually destroyed.

Mendoza was charged with Possession of CDS with the Intent to Distribute, Possession of CDS, Possession of CDS within 1000 feet of a Public School, Maintaining a Heroin Production Facility and Possession of CDS Paraphernalia.  He was later lodged at the Bergen County Jail on $500,000 full cash bail. 

The investigation is being prosecuted by the NJ Division of Criminal Justice. 

Charges are mere accusations and all accused subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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