EWING, NJ (MERCER)– A comprehensive and extensive month-long investigation conducted by law enforcement authorities in the Mercer County area has ultimately resulted in the arrest of an individual and the confiscation of a staggering $40,000 worth of heroin, as reported by Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri.
The investigation, which commenced on Monday, October 16, 2023, involved the combined efforts of the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Ewing, Hamilton, and Trenton police departments. Acting on crucial information gathered during the course of the investigation, these agencies initiated surveillance operations in the parking lot of the River’s Edge Apartments located on Country Lane in Ewing Township. At approximately 8:30 p.m., officers successfully identified the prime suspect of the investigation, Onasis Santos-Estevez, as he arrived in a red Mitsubishi Outlander. The driver of the vehicle and Santos-Estevez were promptly detained without any untoward incidents. In an effort to further ascertain the presence of narcotics, Sergeant Tom Paglione enlisted the assistance of his highly trained K-9 partner, Indy, who proceeded to conduct an exterior sniff of the vehicle. The outcome of this canine search was significant, as Indy exhibited signs of alertness upon detecting the scent of narcotics emanating specifically from the rear passenger side door. Subsequently, a meticulous search warrant was granted, enabling detectives to delve deeper into the contents of the Outlander. Their search yielded a blue reusable shopping bag concealed under the front passenger seat, inside of which approximately 200 bricks of heroin were discovered.
The individual identified as Santos-Estevez, aged 47 and hailing from Philadelphia, PA, now faces charges of possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession with the intent to distribute. Considering the gravity of these charges, the prosecutor’s office has taken the necessary steps to file a motion for his detention pending trial.
Prosecutor Onofri has stated that the estimated street value of the confiscated heroin stands at an astounding $40,000, underscoring the magnitude of the operation. However, it is essential to recognize that despite having been charged, all individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law, emphasizing the importance of due process and fair legal proceedings.
As law enforcement authorities continue to combat the distribution of narcotics in the Mercer County area, this successful operation serves as a testament to their unwavering commitment and dedication to upholding the safety and well-being of the community they serve.
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Santos-Estevez, 47, of Philadelphia, PA, was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession with the intent to distribute. The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain him pending trial.
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