A Quinton woman police allege intended to distribute large quantities of cocaine that had been shipped via FedEx from California has been arrested here, authorities announced on Wednesday.
According to the Salem County Prosecutor's Office, 25-year-old Erin Brown was taken into custody on charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute a first-degree amount of cocaine.
Seized during the investigation was more than half a kilogram of cocaine, which county Prosecutor John T. Lenahan valued in excess of $40,000.
Lenahan said once the product was diluted and sold individually, it could have yielded hundreds of thousands in profit.
Brown was arrested during a motor vehicle stop on State Route 49 in Quinton following "an intense investigation" involving police from three states in conjunction with agents from the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the prosecutor's office said.
"This is not the first time we've encountered or made an arrest for illegal cocaine that was being shipped here from California," Lenahan said. "We were sure it was going right from Quinton to the streets."
Lenahan did not want to release how police first learned of the illegal drug activity. The investigation is ongoing at this point.
Officials said $40,000 was wire transferred to an unnamed source in California from Salem County, and in return the cocaine was vacuum sealed and shipped over in what was a fairly brazen operation.
Brown was described as a low-profile local distributor who may not have been acting alone.
The joint investigation is being led by detectives from the Salem County Prosecutor's Office, Lenahan said. Officials said they are still following up on leads to bring in those responsible. No further suspects in either state have been named.
Brown was committed to the Salem County Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail.
July 29, 2009
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