Breaking News Maplewood Police and Fire

Authorities Charge Two Men — One Arrested in Maplewood — in $1M West Orange Meth Lab Bust

Updated August 7, 2019: this article has been updated to reflect that per a 8/6/2019 release from the New Jersey District Attorney’s Office, Eduardo Martinez has been charged with possession of methamphetamine, but other charges against him that were listed in the original release from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office (maintaining a drug manufacturing facility, maintaining fortified drug premises, possession of a weapon while committing a narcotics crime, possession of narcotics paraphernalia and conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws) have been dismissed. 

From the Essex County Sheriff’s Office:

Two people were arrested this week, one in Maplewood, when a law enforcement task force raided a major drug manufacturing facility in West Orange containing nearly one million dollars in methamphetamine, according to a press release from the Essex County Sheriff’s office.  The force was comprised of Essex County sheriff’s detectives and detectives from the Newark, Bloomfield, Irvington, and West Orange police departments.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that as a result of a two-month investigation the task force executed a search warrant at a residence, located at 1 Lorelei Road in West Orange, on Monday evening.

“Our officers entered the premises and found the target of our investigation, Brian Chedahackembruch, 23, in his bedroom,” Sheriff Fontoura said. “During a thorough search of the house, our detectives recovered 4,450 grams of methamphetamine in both liquid and crystal form, 96 ounces of gamma butyrolactone, a chemical that is used to convert one drug into another, 74 grams of marijuana, a wide assortment of narcotics paraphernalia, including butane torches, digital scales and plastic funnels, $3,840 in cash, four BB guns, a video surveillance system and bank deposit receipts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Because the narcotics are dangerous to human beings both the Nutley and the New Jersey State Police HAZMAT teams were called to the scene where they confirmed the toxicity of the drugs.

“The traffic in methamphetamines is not unknown in our urban areas as it is more prevalent in rural areas,” Fontoura noted. “However, from 2015 to 2017, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Northeast Regional Lab has seen a 5,657 percent increase in the total weight of methamphetamine exhibits analyzed from 4,468 grams in 2015 to 257,206 grams in 2017. Meth is a psychostimulant drug that is similar to amphetamines and usage may lead to structural and functional changes in the brain associated with emotion and memory, and some of these changes may be irreversible.”

Following his arrest, the suspect complained of physical discomfort due to a recent medical condition. He was transported to University Hospital in Newark by West Orange EMS where he currently remains under guard.

Chedahackembruch was charged with three counts each of possession of CDS, possession of CDS with intent to distribute and possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 of a public park. The suspect was also charged with maintaining a drug manufacturing facility, maintaining fortified drug premises, possession of a weapon while committing a narcotics crime, possession of narcotics paraphernalia and conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.

A second suspect, Eduardo Martinez, 39, also of the Lorelei Road address, was arrested the following day in Maplewood without incident by detectives from the Essex County Sheriff’s Bureau of Narcotics task force.

“Our officers, including detectives from the Newark, Irvington, Bloomfield and West Orange police departments, on Wednesday afternoon tracked Eduardo Martinez, 39, of Lorelei Road, West Orange, to a Raymond Terrace residence in Maplewood and placed him into custody,” Sheriff Fontoura said. “Our community greatly appreciates the diligence and hard work of these officers in shutting down a major drug threat to Essex County and all of our neighbors in the metropolitan area.”

The charges against Martinez reflect the same charges filed Monday night against Brian Chedahackembruch, 23, of West Orange. They include three counts each of possession of CDS, possession of CDS with intent to distribute and possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 of a public park. Martinez was also charged with maintaining a drug manufacturing facility, maintaining fortified drug premises, possession of a weapon while committing a narcotics crime, possession of narcotics paraphernalia and conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.

 

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