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Three Arrested in West Essex Cocaine Investigation

Cynthia Cumming

Saturday, October 12, 2013 • 11:40am

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Ara Manookian, age 43, of Verona, Kyle J. McTeer, age 35, of Montclair and Robert Perez, age 33, of Newark, were arrested on Friday after a two month investigation by the Essex County Narcotics Task Force determined that cocaine was being sold and distributed in Verona and Montclair. The arrests were announced by Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray.

The investigation was spearheaded by the Essex County Narcotics Task Force, which includes detectives from the New Jersey State Police, the Newark Police Department and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. 

According to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office press release, Manookian was arrested on Bloomfield Avenue in Verona, McTeer was arrested at his residence in Montclair and Perez was arrested at his home in Newark. Manookian is charged with several counts of cocaine distribution, distribution within 1000 feet of a school and conspiracy to violate narcotics laws. McTeer was charged with two counts of distribution of cocaine, one count of distribution within 1000 feet of a school, one count of distribution within 500 feet of public property and conspiracy to violate the narcotics laws. Perez has been charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the narcotics laws.

Over 200 grams of cocaine were seized during the investigation with a with a street value of over $10,000. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be pending.

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