Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Orange Police Director Hakim Sims announced that eight individuals were charged today with distributing narcotics in the city of Orange. A ninth person was charged with possession of narcotics.
Following a month-long investigation in a targeted area of Orange, in response to complaints about the open-air sale of drugs, three women and six men were charged following a pre-dawn raid.
Search warrants were executed at 198 Hickory Street and 170 Hickory Street in Orange by detectives from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Orange Police Department, with assistance from Newark Police and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. Suspects were also arrested at other locations in Orange. One suspect was taken into custody at his home in West Orange.
“We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute drug and gang violence in Essex County to ensure citizens have a safe place to live and work,’’ said Acting Prosecutor Murray.
“We would like to thank Acting Prosecutor Murray and our other partners in law enforcement for helping us quell this crime, especially in this area,” said Orange Police Director Hakim Sims. “It has been an area of concern for a long time and one of the top priorities of Mayor Dwayne Warren and we are trying to address this problem as best we can.’’
The following individuals were arrested and charged with distribution of narcotics:
Bonita Bondurant, 29, of Orange
Nakia Atkins, 25, of Orange
Dina Carter, 51, of Orange
Patrick Davidson, 18, of West Orange
Gary Hester, 54, of Orange
Richard Lewis, 23, of Newark
Starr Morris, 21, of Orange and Bruce Hamer, 52, of East Orange were also charged but were already in custody today. Yameen Williams, 23, of Orange was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
With the exception of Williams, all of the suspects are accused of selling narcotics, either cocaine or heroin. Small quantities of marijuana, cash, prescription pills and a gun were also confiscated during the raid today.
Bail was set at $25,000 for Davidson, Atkins, Carter and Hester. Lewis and Morris are being held on $40,000 bail. Bail for Bondurant and Hamer was set at $50,000. Bail has not yet been set for Williams. All are being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark.
The investigation is active and ongoing. More arrests are expected.
These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent until they either enter a guilty plea or are found guilty in a court of law.