NEWARK, NJ — A father and son team of alleged drug dealers along with a third man were arrested Wednesday, Aug. 30, by a law enforcement task force comprised of Essex County sheriff’s detectives and Bloomfield and Irvington police officers which resulted in multiple narcotics charges being filed against the trio.
Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that the task force had executed a search warrant for Mike’s Deli and Grocery, located at 360 Bloomfield Ave. in the Newark’s North Ward.
“Detained at the scene while the store was searched were Maher Aldabbas, 55, of Clifton; his son, Mouhammed Aldabbas, 27, of Newark; and their employee, Ronald Piacenza, 47, of Belleville,” Fontoura said in an Aug. 31 press release. “Our search yielded nearly 5,300 grams of synthetic marijuana, or ‘K2’ as it is known on the streets, which had been secreted in various locations throughout the deli. $376 in currency and drug packaging materials were also seized.”
The street value of the narcotics is in excess of $50,000, according to Fontoura.
In the past five months, according to Fontoura, more that 50 overdose cases of synthetic cannabinoids requiring hospitalization of the victims had been reported in Newark.
“Many of the victims appear to come from our local homeless population,” Fontoura said. “These manufactured drugs affect the brain much more powerfully than marijuana and their effects are unpredictable and, in some cases, severe or even life-threatening.”
Maher and Mouhammed Aldabbas were both charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia and conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.
Piacenza was found to be the subject of an open drug warrant issued by the Newark municipal court.
All three suspects were lodged at the county jail where Maher and Mouhammed Aldabbas await a bail hearing and Piacenza awaits a court appearance on his prior drug charge.
All defendants are considered innocent unless or until they plead guilty or are convicted in a court of law.