EGG HARBOR CITY, N.J., (CBS) — A joint undercover narcotics investigation resulted in the dismantling of an alleged large organized heroin trafficking ring operating out of an Egg Harbor City apartment complex, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced Thursday.
In a statement, McClain said that the Prosecutor’s Office Guns, Gangs and Narcotics Unit, the Atlantic County Emergency Response Team and the Egg Harbor City, Galloway Township and Pleasantville Police Departments simultaneously executed search warrants Wednesday at two units in the Philadelphia Village Housing Complex located at 1000 Buffalo Avenue.
Authorities say 11 bricks of heroin, about 550 bags, with an estimated street value of over $10,000 were seized. A loaded .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun, a loaded .357 caliber handgun, numerous rounds of ammunition, $4,500 in small bills, a scale and a two-way radio communications system were also seized.
Ernest Collier, 18, and Chaise Hill, 35, the two residents of the searched units, were arrested and charged with second-degree possession of heroin, possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy, according to authorities. Hill was also charged with unlawful possession of a handgun and possession of a hand gun for an unlawful purpose.
Authorities say law enforcement officers served arrest warrants to multiple other members of the alleged trafficking ring throughout Atlantic County. Those arrests include; Steven Martinez, 19, Tyshon Nieves, 22, Jamil Highsmith, 45, Keleen Simpson, 32, all of Egg Harbor City, Mike Jeril, 32, of Atlantic City, April Hill, 45, of Millville, and Donald Dillard, 56.
In the statement, McClain said the arrests are the results of a seven-month-long cooperative undercover narcotics operation in response to numerous complaints from the citizens of Egg Harbor City.
Martinez and April Hill were both charged with second-degree possession of heroin, possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy.
Nieves and Highsmith were both charged with possession of heroin and possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
Jeril was charged with possession of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
Simpson was charged with possession of heroin, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a handgun and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose.
Dillard was charged with obstruction of the administration of law and resisting arrest.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at (609)-909-7800, the Egg Harbor City Police Department at (609)-965-2901 or anonymously to Atlantic County Crime Stoppers at (609)-652-1234 or 1-(800)-658-8477.