In separate incidents yesterday, Essex County Sheriff’s officers arrested two people on drug charges.
Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that officers from his department’s Patrol Division were conducting quality of life operations at Clinton Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, a known high drug trafficking area, late yesterday morning.
At that time, the sheriff’s officers observed a 2012 Honda Accord with three occupants who were not wearing seatbelts, traveling north on Martin Luther King Boulevard. The Honda then improperly passed another vehicle and turned on a red light without stopping, the office said in a statement.
A motor vehicle stop was conducted and as the officers approached the suspect vehicle they allegedly observed Anthony Ellison,* 24, of Newark, who was in the front passenger seat , place items in his pants pocket.
Ellison was ordered out of the vehicle. A records check revealed that he was the subject of an open warrant issued by the Newark municipal court. Ellison was placed under arrest and searched.
A clear plastic bag was found in Ellison’s pants pocket containing 26 glass vials of crack cocaine. The suspect was also found to be carrying 12 glassine envelopes, stamped “I’LL BE BACK” in black ink, which contained heroin. An additional vial of crack cocaine was also discovered on his person, authorities said.
The driver of the Honda and the rear seat passenger were issued motor vehicle summonses and released following a records check.
Ellison was charged with two counts each of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute, possession with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of Adelaine Sanford Charter School and possession with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public housing complex.
At today’s arraignment, Judge Roslyn Holmes- Grant ordered Ellison held at the county jail on $35,000 bail.
Later on Monday, officers from the Patrol Division were in the area of the Meeker Street entrance to Weequahic Park when they spotted a 2012 Jeep Cherokee allegedly turn onto Empire Street without signaling.
After stopping the vehicle officers learned it had been reported stolen out of Elizabeth on April 30.
Fontoura said the officers ordered the driver, Jessica McMahon, age 29, of Hillside, and her passenger, Jillian Spaniani, age 27, of Linden, out of the vehicle.
When McMahon could not immediately produce identification, she allegedly told sheriff’s officers that it was in her purse in the Jeep. Upon searching McMahon’s purse the officers discovered seven vials of crack cocaine, a hypodermic needle with a white liquid inside, a glass pipe commonly used to smoke crack and 44 glassine envelopes, stamped “DIRECT HIT” in green ink, containing heroin.
Both suspects were charged with receiving stolen property. McMahon was additionally charged with two counts of possession and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
McMahon and Spaniani are scheduled to be arraigned on May 16.
*Correction May 22: The suspect in this incident was origainlly misidentified by law enforcement.