Small towns all across the state New Jersey are all too familiar with their newspaper headlines reading, “heroin this, or heroin that.” With that said, this is a list of the communities, both urban and suburban, with the most REPORTED heroin abuse.
NEWARK had 1,827 reported heroin abuse cases in the year 2012 alone. And most of them look a lot like this for instance: Two weeks ago, two Newark men were among four individuals who were arrested in Massachusetts and charged with transporting more than 1,000 bags of heroin, the Massachusetts State Police said.
JERSEY CITY, had 1,127 reported cases of heroin abuse in 2012. Jersey City has been and remains sickened and plagued by their reputation of being crime and drug fueled. In August 2013, Jersey City police arrested a 15 year old boy and seized 59 bags of suspected heroin after doing surveillance on Van Nostrand Avenue because of the numerous complaints of drug trafficking in the area.
PATERSON is one of the United States’ most troubled and sickened cities and that is part of the reason it finds itself at number three. Paterson had 871 reported cases of heroin abuse in 2012. Authorities in Paterson, arrested the alleged ringleader of the heroin trade and 14 other defendants in 2012, in one of the city’s most notorious drug busts. This was the arrest and takedown of a major narcotics supply network that was allegedly distributing millions of dollars worth of heroin out of a number of heroin processing mills and stash houses throughout the city.
ATLANTIC CITY reported 630 cases of heroin abuse in 2012. The Atlantic City Violent Crimes Task Force has targeted dealers in neighboring communities that have helped to bring drugs to the long-troubled tourist seaside resort. In December, two Galloway men, allegedly ran a drug mill that was off the radar of local law enforcement for months, that is, until, this summer, when they were both arrested.
CAMDEN or “Apocalypse, NJ” was in the most recent issue of Rolling stone and had 560 reported cases of heroin abuse in 2012. January 2013, a web of drug dealers in Camden’s Cooper Lanning and Bergen Square neighborhoods, 36 men and women were indicted by a state grand jury. Their operation was named “Operation Billboard,” the arrests started in May 2012, for a heroin network in the heart of Camden that involved gang members from members of the Netas and Lating Kings street gangs.
BRICK rivals Camden with it’s 550 reported heroin abuse cases. Both Camden and Brick have around the same number of people. Following a two month long investigation into heroin distribution, members of the Brick Police Drug Enforcement Unit arrested three people, including Helena Zalom, of Lavallette in July 2011 and found 250 bags of heroin.
ELIZABETH had 520 reported cases of heroin abuse in 2012. In June 2012, 70 law enforcement officers from four counties arrested 24 people, including one from Elizabeth. It as a drug, gang, and weapons sweep that began with an investigation into an attempted murder in Morristown. A crime task force that worked on the case included prosecutors from Warren, Essex and Union counties.
TOMS RIVER is dealing with what is known as urban decay. In it’s supposedly safe suburban confines, they had 512 reported heroin abuse cases in 2012. Toms River and Brick cops teamed up to bust two suspected township heroin dealers, including Cassandra Ortiz. They seized 1,284 wax folds of the drug and more than 12,000 dollars in cash, a stolen gun and two cars during the whole ordeal.
VINELAND is one of South Jersey’s largest and most rural cities but it also has become a hub of drug trafficking. VINELAND had 304 reported cases of heroin abuse in 2012. After discovering more than 1,000 bags of heroin following a traffic stop in Vineland, police arrested two individuals, including Michelle Bradford of Pittsgrove. Police discovered up to 20 bags of heroin in the other individual pockets and four bags in Michelle’s purse.
TRENTON had 288 reported cases of heroin abuse in 2012. Trenton was put on the heroin map when it made itself into a report titled “Scenes from an Epidemic: A Report on the SCI’s Investigation of Prescription Pill and Heroin Abuse.” It was released by the state Commission of Investigation and named the city as a fertile ground for drug addicts and members of street gangs who distribute heroin throughout the state.
LACEY TOWNSHIP had 280 cases of heroin abuse in 2012. And some of the most infamous, sad, heartbreaking and surprising stories of drug use have come from this city.
JACKSON had 277 reported cases of heroin abuse in 2012. Jackson is another suburban and somewhat rural Ocean County community that has found its way onto this heroin abuse list.
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP had 259 reported cases of heroin abuse in 2012 and is also another suburban community that has started seeing the effects of heroin abuse.
MIDDLETOWN had 255 cases of heroin abuse in 2012. Authorities have called the heroin abuse an “epidemic” in Monmouth County.
PLAINFIELD had 233 reported cases of heroin abuse in 2012. Plainfield is pretty much the home of the wealthy but there is also a lot of crime and tragedy.
WOODBRIDGE had 214 reported cases of heroin abuse in 2012. In Woodbridge, heroin is a local problem as well as trafficking problem among Route 1 and the New Jersey Turnpike that runs through the city.
SOUTH TOMS RIVER had 202 reported heroin abuse cases within its small population of about 4,000.
EAST ORANGE is a tough town that had 201 reported cases of heroin abuse in 2012.
EDISON had 198 reported cases in 2012, and is also home to major drug trafficking routes just like Woodbridge. In May 2013, the township assisted in a State Police organized sweep that broke up a major heroin distribution ring that reached into six counties.
CHERRY HILL is one of South Jersey’s largest suburban communities and it has had it share of troubles. CHERRY HILL had 195 reported cases of heroin abuse.