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NARCOTICS TASK FORCE ARRESTS FOUR MEN INVOLVED IN DRUG MILL OPERATION IN EDGEWATER, NJ

TO: ALL NEWS MEDIA

FROM: PROSECUTOR GURBIR S. GREWAL

DATE: MARCH 4, 2017

Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal announced the arrests of DARNELL MILLER (DOB: 5/24/1982; single; and unemployed) of 52 Myrtle Avenue, Edgewater, New Jersey; ALLEN STATAM (DOB: 06/02/1961; single; and unemployed) of 8831 SW 22nd Street, Miramar, Florida; Juan NORZAGARAY (DOB: 05/04/1983; single; and unemployed) of 6473 East Garden Stone Drive, Tucson, Arizona; and GARY MERTIL (DOB: 11/14/1984; single, and employed as Uber driver) of 407 56th Street, Apt. 406, West New York, New Jersey on drug-related charges. These arrests are the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office under the direction of Chief Robert ANZILOTTI, the Edgewater Police Department under the direction of Officer-in-Charge Alex HANNA, the Hackensack Police Department under the direction of Officer-in-Charge Francesco AQUILA, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office under the direction of Sheriff Michael SAUDINO, and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) West Paterson Post of Duty under the direction of Group Supervisor Steve ORTMAN.

On Thursday, March 2, 2017, members of the Hackensack Police Department responded to a call of two suspicious males in the parking lot of the Riverside Square Mall, located at 400 Hackensack Avenue, Hackensack, New Jersey. An investigation revealed that ALLEN STATAM and JUAN NORZAGARAY were found to be in possession of approximately $68,881.00, which was believed to be derived from criminal activity. Following additional investigation, they were both arrested on money laundering charges.

Shortly thereafter, members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office were contacted and advised of the money laundering arrest. The Hackensack Police Department was then assisted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office in this investigation. Thereafter, members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office coordinated with members of the Hackensack Police Department, the Edgewater Police Department and the DEA, and responded to an address in Edgewater, New Jersey that was suspected to contain narcotics and additional U.S. currency.

Upon their arrival, GARY MERTIL was located outside of the residence, and was found to be in possession of marijuana. He was placed under arrest without incident. Based upon further intelligence, a court-authorized search warrant was obtained for the residence in Edgewater, in which DARNELL MILLER was located. During the execution of the search warrant, detectives located a "drug mill" on the lower level, which included approximately three kilograms of cocaine, approximately thirty pounds of marijuana, approximately one ounce of heroin, a kilogram press machine, U.S. currency counting machine, large digital scales, one hand gun, and approximately $181,885.00 in U.S. currency.

DARNELL MILLER was arrested without incident and charged with one count of Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b (1), a First Degree Crime; one count of Possession With the Intent to Distribute Marijuana, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b10a, a First Degree Crime; one count of Maintaining or Operating a Premise for the Manufacturing of Cocaine / Heroin / Marijuana, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-4, a First Degree Crime; one count of Possession With the Intent to Distribute Heroin 2C:35-5b (2), a Second Degree Crime; one count of Possession of a Firearm while committing a controlled dangerous substance crime in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1, a Second Degree Crime; one count of Money Laundering in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25, a Second Degree Crime; one count of Tampering with Evidence in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:28-6(1), a Fourth Degree Crime; three counts of Possession With the Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Heroin, and Marijuana, While Within a School Zone in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7, a Third Degree Crime; three counts of Possession With the Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Heroin, and Marijuana, While Within a Park Zone in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1, a Second Degree Crime. MILLER was issued a warrant and held at the Bergen County Jail pending a first appearance in the Bergen County Central Judicial Processing Court.

ALLEN STATAM was charged with one count of Money Laundering, specifically by possessing $68,881.00 which is believed to be derived from Criminal Activity, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25, a Third Degree Crime. He was released on his own recognizance pending a first appearance date in Bergen County Central Judicial Processing Court.

JUAN NORZAGARAY was charged with one count of Money Laundering, specifically by possessing $68,881.00 which is believed to be derived from Criminal Activity, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25, a Third Degree Crime. He was released on his own recognizance pending a first appearance date in Bergen County Central Judicial Processing Court.

GARY MERTIL was charged with one count of Possession of Marijuana in an amount under fifty grams in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10A(4). He was released on his own recognizance pending a first appearance date in Bergen County Central Judicial Processing Court.

Prosecutor Grewal states that these charges are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and would also like to thank the Hackensack Police Department, Edgewater Police Department, DEA, and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this investigation.

03 03 17 Darnell Miller

DARNELL MILLER

03 03 17 Juan Norzagaray

JUAN NORZAGARAY

03 03 17 Allen Statam

ALLEN STATAM

03 03 17 Gary Mertil

GARY MERTIL

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