Arrest yields large quantity of cocaine, $15K cash, loaded firearm

A Plainfield Police Division investigation assisted by the Prosecutor’s Office’s newly formed Opioid Task Force yielded an arrest and the recovery of a significant quantity of cocaine and a loaded firearm, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo announced Wednesday.

Juan Carlos Franco, 39, was charged with first-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute, five lesser drug offenses, and second-degree possession of a weapon during the execution of a drug scheme.

Members of the Plainfield Police Division, led by Detective Michael Metz, executed a search warrant at an apartment unit on the 800 block of East Front Street last week and recovered approximately 780 grams of cocaine contained in several plastic bags, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Peter Benza of the Opioid Task Force, who is prosecuting the case.

Also recovered in the apartment were a .357-caliber revolver loaded with six live rounds, more than $15,000 in cash, a digital scale, and other assorted pieces of drug paraphernalia.

Franco was 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.