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Two Charged with Selling 'Large Quantity' of Heroin in Somerville

Somerville and Easton, Pa., residents accused of selling bags near Cliff Street and park.

Two men have been charged with the distribution and possession of what authorities called a "large quantity" of heroin, after allegedly arranging to sell an undercover agent hundreds of bags of the substance in the Cliff Street area of Somerville on Tuesday afternoon.

Jedrick Dennis, 32, of West Cliff Street in Somerville, and of Joseph Manna, 32, of Freedom Terrace in Easton, were arrested following an investigation by the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office and Somerville Police Department.

Authorities also said they seized heroin with an estimated street value of $6,000.  

Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano said an undercover agent allegedly made arrangements with Dennis to purchase the heroin and negotiated the sale while conducting a narcotics investigation in the area of Cliff Street in Somerville on Tuesday.

Detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force, along with detectives of the Somerville police department, conducted the investigation, the prosecutor's office said.

Dennis allegedly informed the undercover detective that he needed to contact Manna to make arrangements for the delivery of the heroin he wanted to purchase.

At approximately 4 p.m. on Tuesday, detectives conducting a surveillance said that Manna was observed walking in the area of High Street where he met with the undercover detective and Dennis, according to the prosecutor's office said.

Members of the surveillance team allegedly observed the three individuals walking to a rear parking lot of an apartment complex located on Cliff Street, the prosecutor's office said.

"At this location, defendants Manna and Dennis sold the undercover detective 250 bags of heroin," a release issued by the prosecutor's office said.

Manna then allegedly gave 20 bags of heroin to Dennis.

At that point, the prosecutor's office said, task force detectives approached and identified themselves to the two men, both of whom were placed under arrest.

A search of Manna allegedly resulted in the seizure of 30 bags of heroin and $1,636, according to the prosecutor's office. A search of Dennis resulted in the seizure of 20 bags of heroin, the prosecutor's office said.

The transactions took place within 500 feet of a public park, authorities said.

The prosecutor's office said Manna was charged with two counts of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, heroin, third degree; distribution of heroin within 500 feet of a public park, second degree; and possession of heroin, third degree.

Dennis was charged with distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, heroin, third degree; distribution of heroin within 500 feet of a public park, second degree; and possession of a heroin, third degree, the prosecutor's office said.

Both men were lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail set by Superior Court Judge Robert B. Reed, cash only, the prosecutor's office said.

The both men have not been convicted of any of the charges.

naabt.org July 26, 2012 at 01:30 PM
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