ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. -- A 23-year-old Elmwood Park man was at the center of a North Jersey heroin and crack distribution ring that was smashed with the arrests of him and 17 other people, authorities said.
Kevin “Star” Ruiz ran "a profitable drug distribution network in which he personally delivered heroin and crack cocaine to customers daily in Bergen, Morris, Sussex and Warren counties,” Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp said.
They, in turn, sold more than 4,000 folds of heroin and more than 130 packages of crack – worth a combined $12,000 on the street -- in Hackensack and other towns in the four counties in a little under a month, the prosecutor said.
Detectives caught wind of Ruiz moving drugs on a daily basis and began investigating last October, Knapp said.
Last Friday, they launched a series of raids throughout the five counties, arresting 15 people and seizing 210 doses of heroin, 16 bags of crack cocaine and a stolen handgun – as well as $2,800 in cash and six motor vehicles that authorities will try to have civilly forfeited, he said.
A judge put Ruiz under house arrest, under New Jersey’s bail reform law, with electronic monitoring and weekly reporting by phone and in person every other week to Pretrial Services in Morristown, Knapp said.
He faces various drug possession, distribution and conspiracy charges, in addition to a count of possessing a gun while committing a drug crime.
Those arrested also include Jassmine J. Royal, 27, of Elmwood Park, who was charged with conspiracy to possess heroin and cocaine.
Among the others, 56-year-old Charles E. Nassor of Hackensack was charged with possession and conspiracy to distribute heroin and Percocet.
A Morris County judge ordered him to report to PreTrial services by phone and in person every other week, to attend weekly Narcotics Anonymous meetings and to submit to random urine tests.
The judge also ordered Jashawn “Slime” Holloway, 31, of Paterson, held in the Morris County jail pending a detention hearing. He faces various drug possession, distribution and conspiracy charges.
Knapp thanked several law enforcement agencies that participated in the takedown – among them, the Bergen and Passaic County prosecutor’s offices and local police departments.