Heroin, crack, codeine, cash, stolen car arrests and more

NEWARK, NJ — In separate incidents, two suspects were arrested Aug. 23 by Essex County sheriff’s officers and a high-powered handgun, a large cache of illegal narcotics, a stolen car and cash from drug proceeds were recovered.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura said in a press release that detectives from his department’s Bureau of Narcotics staged a surveillance operation at the intersection of South 6th Street and Springfield Avenue in Newark in response to numerous neighborhood complaints of drug trafficking in the area.

“When our officers observed Quran ‘Choppa’ Richardson, 33, of Newark, pull up and park a 2004 Infiniti sedan at the scene they moved in to question him, as he is known to law enforcement through previous narcotics investigations,” Fontoura said.

The sheriff’s detectives activated their lights and sirens as they moved in to question Richardson. The suspect, however, stepped on the accelerator, drove head on at the officers and forced their vehicle to swerve off the roadway.

“Richardson with no regard for human life drove off in a reckless manner and at a very high rate of speed,” Fontoura said. “Our officers declined to pursue the fast-moving suspect vehicle due to the danger posed to area pedestrians and local traffic but they did surmise that Richardson would drive to his residence on Eagles Parkway and they were correct.”

Richardson was next seen by the sheriff’s detectives getting out of his car in the rear of his housing complex.

“The suspect was carrying a plastic bag,” Fontoura said. “When he saw our officers he tossed a black object into his vehicle and ran from the scene. During the ensuing foot chase Richardson attempted to toss the plastic bag onto the roof of an adjacent but the bag fell short. It was later recovered and was found to contain 100 heroin-filled glassine envelopes, stamped ‘SUCKER PUNCH’ in black ink, and 123 vials of ‘crack’ cocaine.”

The sheriff officers quickly caught up with Richardson and tackled him to the ground. The suspect reportedly refused to be handcuffed and fought with the officers. Once under control, Richardson was found to be in possession of $100.

“On the front seat of his car, the black object turned out to be a fully loaded, 9mm, Sig Sauer semi-automatic handgun with an extended capacity magazine, containing illegal hollow-point bullets, and equipped with a laser sight,” Fontoura said. “Also recovered inside the vehicle was a prescription bottle which held 28 grams of liquid promethazine — codeine.”

Following his arrest, Richardson voluntarily signed a consent to search his car and apartment, according to the press release.

“At his residence, a variety of drug processing and packaging materials were found and a safe that contained an additional $1,590 in drug sale proceeds,” Fontoura said.

Richardson was charged with 24 criminal counts, including possession of of controlled dangerous substances, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of the Quitman Street School, aggravated assault, the unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of a weapon while committing a narcotics crime, resisting arrest and eluding law enforcement. He was also issued motor vehicle summonses for reckless driving, transporting CDS in a motor vehicle and for not wearing a seatbelt.

Also on Aug. 23, officers from the Essex County Sheriff’s Patrol Division were conducting quality-of-life operations along South 12th Street in East Orange when they observed a 2016 BMW driving erratically in reverse.

“In attempting to pull the car over, the driver, later identified as Kadeem Fraser, 20, of East Orange, sped away at a high rate of speed,” Fontoura said.

While following the suspect vehicle the sheriff’s officers ran the license plate, which revealed that it was recently reported stolen out of Pennsylvania.

“Moments later and still traveling at high speed, Fraser lost control of the vehicle while making a turn off Steuben Street, resulting in the BMW crashing into a residential building at 58 9th Ave. The crash caused tremendous damage to the car and the residence,” Fontoura said. “Fraser ran from the scene but was tackled to the ground and placed under arrest.”

Though the suspect was treated for scrapes and lacerations, no one else suffered injuries.

Fraser was charged with receiving stolen property and eluding law enforcement. He was also issued motor vehicle summonses for reckless driving, being an unlicensed driver and fictitious license plates.

Both Richardson and Fraser were lodged at the county jail to await bail hearings on the charges. All defendants are presumed innocent unless or until they plead guilty or are found guilty in a court of law.