Three arrested, heroin, cocaine seized in Plainfield

Three people were arrested and quantities of heroin and cocaine were seized during the execution of several search warrants in Plainfield’s West End this week, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Friday.

Arrested were Jose Otero, 27, Maritza Pineda, 33, and Andre Hendricks, 33, all Plainfield residents.

It was shortly after 4 a.m. on Thursday, September 11 when members of the Prosecutor’s Office’s Guns, Gangs, Drugs, and Violent Crimes Task Force were joined by members of the Union County Emergency Response Team S.W.A.T. squad, the Plainfield Police Division, and the Linden Police Department in executing the search warrants, several of which targeted apartments at the Liberty Village housing complex. A search of Hendricks’s home turned up a total of 125 bags of heroin, and when he was arrested less than a block away, he was found to be in possession of 44 bags of crack cocaine.

Otero and Pineda were arrested during the execution of a search warrant on the 1800 block of Bradford Street, where detectives recovered 4.5 bricks (225 bags) of heroin and more than $3,000 in cash.

Hendricks was charged with second-degree possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute within 500 feet of public housing, second-degree possession of heroin with the intent to distribute within 500 feet of public housing, and six third-degree drug offenses. His bail was set at $50,000 by state Superior Court Judge William Daniel.

Otero and Pineda were each charged with four third-degree drug offenses and possession of drug paraphernalia, a fourth-degree crime. Their bail was set at $30,000 and $5,000, respectively, by Judge Daniel.

Second-degree crimes typically carry penalties of 5 to 10 years in state prison, while third-degree crimes typically result in terms of 3 to 5 years in state prison.

These charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.