YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Passaic County man who headed a major heroin supply operation out of Paterson that put kilos of the drug into the hands of suppliers and large-scale dealers each week in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. will spend at least the next 10 years behind bars following a state sentencing today.
Segundo Garcia, 38, of Prospect Park, aka “Moreno,” agreed to a 15-year sentence with no parole eligibility for six years when he admitted last December that he led a narcotics supply ring that distributed millions of dollars worth of smack from a number of processing “mills” and stash houses in the Silk City.
Once he is released, Garcia, a Dominican national, will go to federal prison to serve a 50-month sentence handed down in July for re-entering the U.S. illegally after being deported.
Then he’ll be deported again.
Garcia served more than five years in federal prison for drug dealing beginning in 2000. After returning to the U.S., and established the new network out of Paterson, authorities said.
“Garcia was supplying death and destruction in bulk, and the dealers he supplied in Paterson put poison in the veins of young addicts from all across the suburbs of northern New Jersey,” state Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said this morning.
“He will spend a long time in prison, where he cannot sell his deadly product,” Hoffman said, “and then he will be deported.”
State, local and federal authorities took down the network during “Operation Dismayed” in November 2012, seizing three kilos of bulk heroin, another kilo of heroin packaged in thousands of glassine envelopes for individual sale and about $255,000 in cash.
The bulk heroin had a wholesale value of more than $300,000 but, if broken down, could have sold for more than $1 million on the street, state authorities said.
All 15 defendants were indicted in July on charges stemming form the probe, which involved the NJ Division of Criminal Justice, the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New York Division, assisted by New Jersey State Police and the DEA New Jersey Division.
Garcia’s crew generally didn’t sell to street-level dealers but, rather, to larger-scale traffickers in three states and the District of Columbia, authorities said.
Investigators seized 1.5 kilos of heroin, along with packaging materials and equipment, from a heroin mill located on the first floor of 447 East 21st Street in Paterson.
They seized an additional 1.5 kilos of heroin and $220,000 in cash from a second mill located on the first floor of 246 Maryland Avenue in Paterson.
Workers clad in aprons and surgical masks worked at these and other locations to cut, process and package heroin for the network. Cash totaling $35,000 was seized at other locations.
Wilfredo “Willie” Morel of Paterson — aka “Christino Morel” — worked with Garcia to obtain large quantities of heroin, the July indictment says, adding that Morel “exercised independent leadership control over certain members of the ring.”
Morel and nine other defendants also face first-degree drug charges.
Among those charged are two men identified as customers of Garcia’s who distributed heroin in the Pittsburgh, Pa., area. They were arrested on Oct. 11, 2012 after Garcia dropped off a package of heroin at a stash house in Paterson that one of the men delivered to two associates in a city parking lot.
Investigators subsequently stopped the van in which the associates were traveling on Route 80 and seized 425 “bricks” of heroin. Another 65 bricks were seized at a Paterson residence, authorities said.
The lead detective for the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice was Detective Travis Johnson. He was joined by other members of the Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, under the supervision of Lt. Christopher Donohue, Sgt. Ho Chul Shin, Deputy Attorney General Taggart and the bureau chief, Deputy Attorney General Lauren Scarpa-Yfantis.
The Passaic County Sheriff’s Office’s end of the probe was handled by its Narcotics Enforcement Bureau, with assistance from other member of the department.