Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy and Police Department Officials released details of the end of Operation Summer Shield, which led to more than 200 arrests of wanted violent offenders and players in illegal drug markets.
A high-profile multi-agency sting Thursday, September 13, 2012 afternoon along Monticello Avenue, which included air cover from a State Police helicopter, led to five arrests and the seizure of thousands of dollars in cash and heroin, officials said.
Members of the FBI, DEA, New Jersey State Police, State Parole Office, and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s and Sheriff Office were flanked by the men and women of the Jersey City Police Department that launched the operation four months ago.
“For two consecutive years we’ve done a Summer Shield Operation, which is our proactive effort to target violent offenders and repeat offenders who fuel the illegal drug trade. We do this to create a safer summer environment for our residents, businesses and visitors when street drug trade tends to increase,” said Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy.
The raid officially ended Summer Shield, which began with 51 arrests in May of targeted criminal offenders deemed “likely to contribute to community unrest and criminal activity” during the summer months.”
Including a number of arrests and stings during the summer, Summer Shield culminated with dozens of multi-agency officers storming a Monticello Avenue Unisex Barber Shop and led to the arrests of the five suspects considered to be major players in the area’s illegal drug distribution network.
During the sting a search of the location that also included K-9 units, led to the recovery of cash in excess of $25,000 and several hundreds of bags of heroin. Exact quantities and identities of the suspects will be revealed at the close of the investigation.
“It’s no secret that most of the street violence plaguing cities across the country stems from illicit drug sales,” said Police Chief Tom Comey. “We believe that by targeting this ring, the dealers and their clients we have potentially derailed untold incidents of violence in our community.”
Another aspect of Summer Shield included a “Gun Buyback” program, where 50 firearms were turned in for a cash exchange during a single weekend. In 2011, over three weekends 310 weapons were recovered similarly.
Many details regarding high-level suspects taken into custody during the operation have not been released yet due to the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation, which will ultimately lead to more significant federal charges, officials said.