Police arrest alleged GHB, Ketamine dealer

Gutt cops make several drug raids

The Guttenberg Police Investigators unit cracked several alleged drug dealing cases last month after following up on various residents’ complaints.
According to Sgt. Juan Barrera, more people in town have been calling police and giving them anonymous information, which has led to more arrests.
“We’re grateful to the residents for calling in,” said Barrera.
After a two-month investigation, Leonardo Pons, 28, of West New York, was charged with nine counts of possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), manufacturing and distributing toxic chemicals, manufacturing and distributing CDS, distributing CDS, and distributing within a school zone.
Police said that a few months ago, after receiving complaints about Pons allegedly dealing drugs in the neighborhood, they started to investigate.


“We’re grateful to the residents for calling in.” – Sgt. Juan Barrera

According to Capt. Joel Magenheimer, Pons, a former Guttenberg resident, was released from prison in June after serving three years for similar drug offenses, and was on probation.
Barrera said that in an area where municipalities are so close together, help from the surrounding police departments aided their investigation.
Police took a warrant to Pons’ apartment and arrested him there on Sept. 13. They say that when they entered the residence, where Pons lived with his mother, they found a vast amount of drugs.
Police said they found six prescription pill tablets, one brown tube believed to contain marijuana, 11 baggies believed to contain marijuana, 31 bags believed to contain cocaine, a large amount of a white substance believed to be MDMA (Ecstasy), six glass vials containing a white substance believed to be Ketamine (a horse tranquilizer), one glass vial believed to contain liquid Ketamine, one gallon jug of red oily liquid that was believed to contain GHB (sometimes referred to as the “date rape drug”), six plastic water bottles filled with liquid believed to be GHB, and one small plastic bottle believed to be GHB. One plastic water bottle contained a clear liquid CDS, and another plastic water bottle contained an oily red liquid believed to contain GHB.
According to Magenheimer, the bottles filled with GHB and Ketamine looked exactly like water. The red oily substance was believed to be GHB mixed with red wine.
Police also seized $2,928 in cash.
“The only thing he really had to say was that he’s addicted [and] he has a problem,” said Magenheimer.

Leads to other arrests

Barrera said it was very positive that residents were “fed up” with drug dealing, and thought that the recent arrests have had a positive impact on neighborhoods.
After arresting Pons, police said he told them of another person he had allegedly been selling to.
Magenheimer said that Maria Medina, 31, of Guttenberg, had been holding “wild parties” in her apartment and that police had received complaints about the late night activity. The liquid drug mixtures were allegedly being consumed there.
Police obtained a search warrant and a warrant for her arrest, but found no drugs in her residence. However, they said they found paraphernalia and hypodermic needles, which Medina was charged with possessing.
Magenheimer said that Medina came home to see that her metal door had been opened by North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue. She then went to police headquarters, where she was arrested.

Police nab alleged Guttenberg dealer

Around the same time, police were also conducting another drug investigation.
After six months of following up residents’ complaints and conducting surveillance, police arrested Oscar Flores, 50, of Guttenberg. Flores had also been on probation and had gone to prison for previous drug offenses.
Magenheimer said that Flores was “slick” and allegedly used runners to move drugs to the individuals purchasing them, rather dealing out of his home on Jackson Street.
Investigators first arrested his alleged runner, Alejandro Gasper, 26, of Jersey City, after he left his apartment on Sept. 18. He was charged with possession of CDS, distribution of CDS, distribution within a school zone, and conspiracy.
After arresting Gasper, they raided Flores’ residence and found drugs, including 13 bags of a substance believed to be crack, 13 bags believed to be of cocaine, and a small amount of vegetation believed to be marijuana. Magenheimer said that he believed Flores could have had a stash house where he kept most of the alleged drugs.
Flores was charged with possession of CDS, distribution of CDS, distribution within a school zone, conspiracy and drug paraphernalia.
Flores had also allegedly dealt drugs into West New York and North Bergen as well, police said.
“These guys are slick,” said Magenheimer. “He had it organized because he’s been through this before.”
Flores’ live-in-girlfriend, Maria Martinez, 47, was also arrested and received the same charges as Flores.
Barrera said that this investigation was the perfect example of how residents helped strengthen their case.
“If we don’t get information ourselves, we basically have to count on the residents to let us know that there is a problem,” said Barrera.
Anyone with information should call the anonymous Guttenberg tip line at (201) 868-4124.

© 2000, Newspaper Media Group