$7,000 in drugs, proceeds seized

NEWARK, NJ — More than $7,000 in narcotics and cash from alleged drug sales was seized during the arrests of three suspects on May 8 by Essex County sheriff’s detectives.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura said that officers from his department’s Bureau of Narcotics conducted a surveillance operation at South 12th Street and Gould Avenue in Newark on the afternoon of May 8 in response to numerous neighborhood complaints of open-air drug trafficking in the area.

“Shortly after 1 p.m., our detectives observed Rashon Peterson, 35, and Cassandra Beaman, 28, both of Newark, loitering near a parked Oldsmobile Intrigue at that location,” Fontoura said. “Peterson was observed removing three large items, later identified as bricks, packages of 50 heroin-filled glassine envelopes, out of the vehicle’s glove compartment. Peterson then handed one of the bricks to Beaman, who secreted it in her waistband.”

Moments later, Lawrence Nesmith, 45, of East Orange, allegedly approached Peterson and Beamen. After a brief conversation, Beaman allegedly exchanged the heroin with Nesmith for cash.

Nesmith was followed by the sheriff’s detectives and was detained a few blocks away. Upon being stopped, Nesmith allegedly threw three plastic jugs, containing crack cocaine to the ground. He was immediately placed under arrest.

“Our detectives also followed Peterson and Beaman and placed them under arrest without incident,” Fontoura said. “Beaman was found to be in possession of 49 decks of heroin, stamped ‘Booty Call’ in red ink, and $140 in alleged drug proceeds.”

A search of the suspect vehicle reportedly yielded an additional 1,350 decks of heroin.

Peterman and Beaman were charged with the sale of a controlled dangerous substance, sale of CDS within 1,000 feet of St. Rose of Lima School, possession of CDS, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of St. Rose of Lima School and conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.

Peterson was also issued a summons for CDS in a motor vehicle and was found to the subject of an open warrant issued by the Berkeley Township municipal court. Beaman was found to the subject of an open warrant for contempt of court.

Nesmith was charged with possession of CDS. He was issued a summons and released. He will face a court hearing on the charge at a later date.

Peterson and Beaman are currently being lodged at the county jail where they await bail hearings.

All persons arrested are presumed innocent until they plead guilty or are proved guilty in a court of law.