Arrest yields large quantity of MDMA, three firearms

A narcotics investigation taking place at an Elizabeth housing complex last week yielded two arrests and the recovery of a significant quantity of MDMA and three firearms, including a powerful assault weapon with an extended magazine, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo announced Wednesday.

John Jefferson and Tiaunnah Bailey, both 36, are charged with first-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute, second-degree unlawful possession of an assault firearm, second-degree possession of a firearm while committing a narcotics offense, five related narcotics offenses, and three related weapons offenses. Jefferson was additionally charged with three counts of second-degree certain persons not to own a firearm.

Members of the Elizabeth Police Department Narcotics Division, led by Detectives Luis Garcia and Athanasios Mikros, executed a search warrant at the Mravlag Manor housing complex last week and recovered approximately 375 grams of MDMA (methyl​enedioxy-methamphetamine, more commonly known as ecstasy or “molly”) contained in five separate bags from the apartment unit where Jefferson and Bailey live, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Peter Benza of the Prosecutor’s Office’s Opioid Task Force, who is prosecuting the case.

Also recovered in the apartment were a .380-caliber handgun loaded with four live rounds, a defaced .40-caliber handgun loaded with six live rounds, a .45-caliber M10A1 rifle with an empty high-capacity magazine, approximately 40 rounds of assorted ammunition, quantities of drug paraphernalia, and a digital scale.

Jefferson and Bailey were transported to the Union County Jail to await a first appearance and detention hearing scheduled to take place in Superior Court.

Convictions on first-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by 10 to 20 years in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.