Linden drug investigation leads to two arrests, significant seizure of cocaine

A narcotics investigation taking place in Linden Wednesday night led to the arrests of two New York men and the seizure of a significant quantity of cocaine, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Thursday.

Arrested as a result of the investigation were Angel Ernesto Cesar, 25, of Yonkers, N.Y. and Ariel Jazmin, 27, of the Washington Heights section of Manhattan.

The investigation, spearheaded by the Prosecutor’s Office’s Guns, Gangs, Drugs, and Violent Crimes Task Force and assisted by the Linden Police Department, led detectives to the area of Alberta Avenue in Linden, where Jazmin and Cesar were located in a Chevrolet Suburban SUV. As the detectives attempted initiate a traffic stop of the vehicle at approximately 11 p.m. Wednesday, Cesar sped away, steering around several police vehicles and continuing onto a sidewalk and back onto the street, causing a tire to blow out.

The Suburban shortly thereafter entered nearby Warinanco Park in Roselle, where it collided with a tree. Cesar was arrested at the scene of the accident, and Jazmin was apprehended following a brief foot pursuit.

Approximately five kilograms of cocaine were recovered at the scene. The two defendants were transported to Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth for treatment of minor injuries suffered in the accident, after which they were both lodged in Union County Jail. The two defendants both were charged with first-degree possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, second-degree possession with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public park, and a related third-degree drug offense. Cesar additionally was charged with second-degree eluding police, while Jazmin was charged with third-degree resisting arrest.

State Superior Court Judge Scott J. Moynihan set bail at $1 million for Cesar and $1.5 million for Jazmin.

Convictions on first-degree crimes are punishable by 10 to 20 years in state prison, while second-degree crimes can result in 5 to 10 years in state prison. These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.