A 23-year-old city man was among nine people arrested on narcotics charges following an early-morning raid in Orange Thursday, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Richard Lewis was arrested Thursday and charged with distribution of narcotics following a month-long investigation into narcotics distribution from 170 Hickory St. and 198 Hickory St. in Orange.
Police started the investigation after neighbors had complained the homes were used for open-air sales of cocaine, heroin and marijuana in the city. Small quantities of marijuana, cash, prescription pills and a gun were also confiscated during the raid, officials said.
The Orange Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office conducted the raids.
In addition to Lewis, the prosecutor’s office said the following suspects were arrested on drug distribution charges:
- Bonita Bondurant, 29, of Orange
- Nakia Atkins, 25, of Orange
- Dina Carter, 51, of Orange
- Gary Hester, 54, of Orange
- Patrick Davidson, 18, of West Orange
The following suspects were also arrested, but were already in custody at the time of the raids, officials said:
- Starr Morris, 21, of Orange
- Bruce Hamer, 52, of East Orange
In addition, 23-year-old Yameen Williams of Orange was also arrested, officials said, and charged with possession of a controlled-dangerous substance.
Bail was set at $25,000 for Davidson, Atkins, Carter and Hester. Lewis and Morris are being held on $40,000 bail. Bail for Bondurant and Hamer was set at $50,000. Bail has not yet been set for Williams.
All of the suspects are being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark.
The investigation is active and ongoing, officials said, and more arrests are expected.
“We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute drug and gang violence in Essex County to ensure citizens have a safe place to live and work,’’ said Acting Essex County Carolyn A. Murray.
“We would like to thank (Acting Prosecutor) Murray and our other partners in law enforcement for helping us quell this crime, especially in this area,” said Orange Police Director Hakim Sims. “It has been an area of concern for a long time and one of the top priorities of Mayor Dwayne Warren and we are trying to address this problem as best we can.’’
— Staff reports