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6 Arrested For Allegedly Plotting To Operate ‘Heroin Mill’ In Camden

(credit: CBS3)

(credit: CBS3)

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CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) – New Jersey’s Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman says six people have been arrested and charged for allegedly conspiring to operate a “heroin mill” and distribute large quantities of the drug in Camden.

The arrests are the result of “Operation China White,” a joint investigation led by New Jersey State Police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.

Six Camden residents were arrested during the investigation:

1. Andy Lopez, 29, aka “Christian Lopez” and “Christian Correa.” Conspiracy (2nd degree), Distribution of Heroin (2 Counts – 1st degree), Distribution of Heroin Within 500 Feet of a Park (Von Neida Park) (2nd degree) and Resisting Arrest (4th degree).

2. Wilson Fortuna, 24. Conspiracy (2nd degree), Distribution of Heroin (1st degree) and Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute (1st degree).

3. Jose O. Fortuna, 38. (Wilson Fortuna’s uncle) Conspiracy (2nd degree), Maintaining a Heroin Production Facility (1st degree), Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute (1st degree), and Money Laundering (3rd degree).

4. Ruben D. Ramos, 25. Conspiracy (2nd degree), Distribution of Heroin (1st degree) and Distribution of Heroin Within 500 Feet of a Park (Von Neida Park) (2nd degree).

5. Jose A. Then-Ruiz, 22. Conspiracy (2nd degree), Distribution of Heroin (1st degree) and Distribution of Heroin Within 500 Feet of a Park (Von Neida Park) (2nd degree).

6. Jasmine A. Vallar, 36. Conspiracy (2nd degree), Maintaining a Heroin Production Facility (1st degree), Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute (1st degree) and Money Laundering (3rd degree).

Officials say Lopez sold drugs on two occasions to an undercover officer back in 2013. During the second drug sale, the heroin was allegedly obtained from Wilson Fortuna. Ramos and Then-Ruiz reportedly assisted Lopez with the transaction, and all three men were arrested in Oct. 2013.

That same night, investigators say they executed a warrant at the homes of Lopez, Wilson Fortuna and the home shared by Jose Fortuna and Jasmine Vallar. At the last location, investigators found an alleged heroin production facility in the basement, as well as $30,000 cash, drug paraphernalia and nearly a kilo of heroin.

“We’ve been working around the clock with all levels of law enforcement to arrest major heroin dealers in Camden who are sparking violence in the city and fueling the deadly epidemic of heroin abuse across the region,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman in a release. “We must continue to do everything in our power to return the streets of our cities to the law-abiding public.”

“Every dealer they put in jail potentially represents fewer lives lost to overdoses, and less violence on New Jersey streets,” added Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.

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