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Three arrested allegedly bringing $1 million worth of heroin into Atlantic City

Three men allegedly trafficking large amounts of heroin into Atlantic City were arrested last week with about 3½ kilograms of fentanyl-laced heroin.
The approximately $300,000 worth of drugs could have sold on the street for more than $1 million, once packaged, Attorney General Christopher Porrino said.
An investigation by the Atlantic City Task Force and its partner agencies found the organization was transporting heroin from Mexico to the New York City area, and into Atlantic City.
Steven Rodriguez, Edwin Gomez and Steven Torres were allegedly bringing the drugs to the beach block of St. James Place in Atlantic City on Thursday, when they were arrested in the parking lot there at about 1 p.m.
The drugs appeared to be laced with fentanyl, a deadly substance often used to cut with heroin that is immune to the naloxone used to reverse the effects of overdoses.
“By putting these alleged heroin traffickers in prison, the Atlantic City Task Force and (Homeland Security Investigations) cut off a major supply line of heroin into Atlantic City and rescued lives that might have been lost to this poison,” Porrino said.
“The Atlantic City Task Force and its federal partners continue to put major drug dealers in prison and reduce the flow of narcotics fueling addiction and gun violence in the Atlantic City area,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice.
“The seizure of such a large quantity of heroin from an international trafficking network substantially cripples a major pipeline into Atlantic City and surrounding areas,” said N.J. State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes. “We will continue to work with our local and federal partners to target drug dealers and put them behind bars.”
Rodriguez, 22, of Queens, N.Y., and Gomez, 31, and Torres, 24, both of Brooklyn, N.Y., are charged with first-degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute, second-degree conspiracy to distribute heroin, second-degree possession with intent to distribute within 500 feet of the Atlantic City Boardwalk, and third-degree heroin possession.
All three were lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility, where they are awaiting detention hearings.
The Task Force includes local, county, state and federal agencies, and frequently partners with Homeland Security Investigations Cherry Hill, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Deputy Attorney General James Ruberton of the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau is assigned to prosecute the defendants for the Atlantic City Task Force.
The first-degree drug charge carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison with as much as a half-million in fines. Second-degree charges carry five- to 10-year terms. Third-degree charges are three to five years in prison.

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