CAPE MAY COUNTY -
The largest narcotic investigation in Cape May County history paid off big time, with a seizure more than $3 million worth of heroin.
12 locations and 6 vehicles were searched simultaneously in what prosecutors describe as the take down of a major heroin distribution ring.
"This is the largest narcotic investigation in Cape May County History," expressed Cape May County Prosecutor Robert Taylor.
The two-month investigation, involving multiple agencies at the local, county, state and federal level, seized the equivalent of 182,000 bags of heroin, worth more than $3.75 million on the street.
"Taking this many bags of heroin off the streets in Cape May County and Cumberland County is going to have a big effect," said Taylor.
Authorities arrested the two alleged leaders of the narcotic trafficking network, Carlos Guzman and Hector Ramos, along with 10 others.
Prosecutors say one of the suspects in custody has international drug distribution connections.
"With the heroin overdoes death that we've been experiencing throughout the southern region…Law enforcement will respond to the people that market this to our young people and our citizens in our two counties," said Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae.
Authorities found 7,700 bags of heroin, valued at $150,000, packaged and ready for distribution in one of the vehicle seized Wednesday in Cape May County alone.
"Hopefully we cut off a lot of the supply. There might still be demand there, but hopefully the supply is cutoff for a while," said Taylor.
Prosecutors say a handgun and approximately $200,000 in cash were also confiscates.
The investigation is still ongoing and officials say there could be more arrests.
Search warrants were executed at twelve properties in Cape May and Cumberland Counties.
The following individuals were also charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance: Miguel Claudio, Juan A. Lopez, Martiza Jenkins, Toby Simmons, Jose I. Baez, Edward Perez, Angelica Alvarado, Romulo Rojas Navarro, and Badie M. Hmaidan.
Both the Cape May and Cumberland County Prosecutors thanked the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and all local law enforcement agencies for their assistance in the investigation,.
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