Posted Thursday, August 16th, 2018

Prosecutor Knapp: “We are losing too many of our loved ones to deadly heroin overdoses.”

Morris County Prosecutor's logoKevin O. Ruiz, aka “Star,” 25, of Paterson, has been sentenced to five years in state prison for his role in a drug distribution operation in which he personally delivered heroin and crack-cocaine to his customers daily in Morris, Sussex, Warren and Bergen Counties.

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announced that Ruiz was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Stephen J. Taylor, at a hearing in Morristown. Assistant Prosecutor Noelle Fiorentino represented the State in this matter.

Ruiz’s conviction resulted from a long-term investigation which began in October 2016. The investigation revealed that many of Ruiz’s drug buyers would re-distribute the heroin and crack cocaine they purchased from Ruiz in their own towns, which included Jefferson, Rockaway Township, Hackettstown, and Hackensack.

Morris Prosecutor: North Jersey Crack and Heroin Dealer Sentenced to State Prison

During a 25-day wiretap investigation led by the Narcotics Task Force, it is believed that Ruiz directly distributed more than  4,000 folds, or individual doses, of heroin and more than 130 packages of crack cocaine, with an estimated street value in excess of $12,000.

On March 17, 2017, the investigation culminated when several court-authorized search and arrest warrants were executed throughout Morris, Sussex, Warren, Bergen, and Passaic counties by the Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team, Bergen County Regional SWAT and the members of the Morris and Bergen County Prosecutor’s Offices Narcotics Task Forces.

As a result, 18 individuals were arrested and more than 210 doses of heroin, 16 bags of crack cocaine, $3,600 in currency, a stolen handgun, and 6 motor vehicles were seized.

One of Ruiz’s CDS suppliers, Jashawn Halloway, 34, of Paterson, was identified and prosecuted along with Ruiz.  Halloway previously pled guilty to conspiracy to possess heroin with intent to distribute. He was sentenced in June to six years in state prison.

photo of Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp

Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp

Prosecutor Knapp stated: “We are losing too many of our loved ones to deadly heroin overdoses.  The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office will continue to partner with our municipal law enforcement agencies, other County Prosecutors and the New Jersey State Police to target heroin dealers that sell these deadly substances in Morris County.

“This investigation and resulting conviction of this for-profit drug dealer exemplifies the multi-agency partnerships needed to combat the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic.”

Prosecutor Knapp wishes to thank the following agencies for their assistance and commitment to the Narcotics Task Force: Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Morris County Park Police, and the New Jersey State Police.

Also, he thanked police departments in Boonton Township, Butler, Dover, Jefferson, Montville, Morristown, Morris Township, Parsippany, Riverdale, and Rockaway Borough in Morris County, and Sparta and Newton in Sussex County.

Inquiries can be directed to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Public Information Officer Peter DiGennaro at 973-829-8159.