Law enforcement seizes more than $9,000 in drug-trafficking investigation

NEWARK, NJ — As part of an on-going investigation into drug trafficking in Newark’s West Ward, more than $9,000 in illegal narcotics and narcotics sales were seized Dec. 26 as Essex County sheriff’s detectives arrested two adult males, according to a press release from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that officers from his department’s Bureau of Narcotics conducted a raid at 25 Chelsea Ave. after receiving information regarding a potential narcotics operation in the area.

“Our officers were informed that Shareem Williams, 26, of Newark, had been operating illegal narcotics activity in the area of Chelsea Avenue,” Fontoura said of the raid for controlled dangerous substances. “Upon arriving at the location, our officers located Williams outside of the residence and approached him. Once Williams noticed the detectives, he tried to hide what was later identified as 34 grams of CDS marijuana in his jacket pocket. Our officers performed a search of his person for weapons and placed him under arrest.”

While officers were placing Shareem Williams under arrest, another individual, later identified as Shawn Williams, 39, of Newark, was seen observing the incident from the front steps of the residence. Alongside Shawn Williams was a light brown pitbull that Shawn Williams was holding on a leash.

“One of our detectives requested that Shawn Williams secure the dog, remain put and show both hands to the officers,” Fontoura said. “Rather than adhere to the orders, Shawn Williams attempted to lock himself inside of the residence. Our officers approached the door, picked the lock and closely followed him.”

Officers again requested that Shawn Williams secure the dog, remain put and show both hands to the officers, but he again failed to do so, according to the press release. Finally, law enforcement said they heard Shawn Williams yell an expletive and tell the pitbull to “get ’em,” before he allegedly let the dog off its leash.

At this time, the pitbull charged toward the team of detectives. Fearing that the pitbull was going to attack members of the team, a Newark Police Department officer who is a member of the Bureau of Narcotics’ Tactical Response Team discharged their firearm and struck the animal. Upon being struck, the pitbull ran from the officers and away from the scene. It was later taken to a local animal hospital, where it was treated for its injuries.

“Once the pitbull was safely from the area. Officers approached Shawn Williams and began to place him under arrest. With both Shawn and Shareem Williams secured, officers began a search of the residence,” Fontoura said. “Inside of the residence, officers located several caches of illegal narcotics, narcotics producing paraphernalia and illegal narcotic proceeds. In total, our team recovered more than $9,000 worth of CDS marijuana, CDS heroin, CDS crack-cocaine and painkillers.”

Shareem Williams was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and distribution on or around school property, and possession of drug paraphernalia and distribution on or around public property, among other charges It was later found that Shareem Williams had an open warrant out of Newark Municipal Court.

Shawn Williams was charged with resisting arrest; tampering with evidence; possession of a weapon, specifically a K-9; aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, specifically a K-9; and possession of a controlled dangerous substance, among other charges.

Shareem Williams was booked and transported to the Essex County Correctional Facility for housing while Shawn Williams was taken to Rutgers Medical Center for evaluation. Upon his release, Shawn Williams will be booked and transported to the Essex County Correctional Facility for housing.

These charges are merely accusations. All defendants are deemed innocent unless or until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty in a court of law.