Sheriff’s Office recovers $20,000 in illegal narcotics and proceeds during arrest

NEWARK, NJ — An alleged member of the Bloods street gang was arraigned Oct. 19 on multiple weapons and drug charges, and more than $16,000 in illegal narcotics, narcotics proceeds and a semiautomatic handgun were recovered during two narcotics investigations between Oct. 9 and 16, according to a press release from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.

According to Sheriff Armando Fontoura, a task force comprising officers from his department’s Bureau of Narcotics, as well as members of Bloomfield Police Department, Newark Police Department, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, were conducting an initial narcotics investigation in the area of Van Vechten Street in Newark’s South Ward on Oct. 9 when they observed a suspect allegedly engage in illegal narcotics activities. 

“Our officers were provided information that identified the area around Van Vechten Street as a potential hot spot for illegal narcotics activity, as well as potential violent crimes, specifically shootings,” Fontoura said. “When our officers arrived on the scene, they immediately noticed a male suspect pacing back and forth on the street corner with no apparent destination.”

Officers immediately identified the individual as Samid Strothers, 23, of Newark. According to the sheriff’s office, Strothers is a known member of the Brick City Brims, a subset of the Bloods street gang.

“Our officers observed the suspect pacing along Van Vechten Street, before being approached by an unidentified male. The male then handed a large bag to Strothers and, upon receiving the bag, Strothers made his way to a blue Jeep Cherokee parked nearby,” Fontoura said. “At this point, the suspect drove the car away from Van Vechten Street before arriving back in the same area several minutes later.”

Once Strothers returned to Van Vechten Street, he parked the vehicle and again began pacing along the sidewalk. It was at this time that members of the task force reportedly observed Strothers make contact with numerous individuals. During each of these interactions, the unidentified individual allegedly approached Strothers and proceeded to hand him paper currency in exchange for an unidentified substance from Strothers’ bag. 

“Based off of our officers’ training and past experience, they immediately recognized that a number of illegal narcotics transactions had taken place,” Fontoura said. “Our officers approached Strothers with badges showing and requested his cooperation. Strothers informed the officers that he had illegal narcotics in his possession, and he was permitted to reached into his front waistband, where he retrieved the bag containing 11 clear jugs of suspected CDS crack cocaine, 26 glassine envelopes stamped ‘Dirty Harry’ containing suspected CDS heroin, and $1,130 in cash. Officers immediately placed Strothers under arrest, and he was later booked and transported to the Essex County Correctional Facility.”

CDS is a controlled dangerous substance.

Following the incident on Oct. 9, Strothers’ blue Jeep Cherokee was impounded, and a search warrant was executed on the vehicle Oct. 19. During the search, officers recovered approximately $8,382 in cash, a .40 caliber handgun loaded with nine hollow-point bullets, as well as an extended magazine, and 100 decks of heroin.

“Upon Strothers’ initial arrest and transportation to the Essex County Correctional Facility, he was allowed to return home while he awaited a hearing. Therefore, following the search of the suspect’s vehicle, members of the task force traveled to the Strothers residence in Elizabeth in order to again place him under arrest,” Fontoura said. Strothers resides in Newark, but his family’s home is in Elizabeth. “Members of the task force executed the warrant upon arrival of the apartment complex, located Strothers in his living room, and immediately placed him under arrest. A further search of the apartment revealed an additional $7,982 in narcotics proceeds.”

Following both arrests, Samid Strothers was charged with possession of a firearm without a permit, possession of a firearm while committing an illegal drug offense, illegal possession of an extended magazine, illegal possession of hollow point ammunition, and illegal possession of a controlled and dangerous substance.

Strothers was transported to Essex County Correctional Facility, where he will await a hearing on his charges.