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West Orange Detectives Arrest Owners in Drug Bust at El Primo Mini-Market

Cynthia Cumming

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 • 2:15pm

WEST ORANGE, NJ - On March 31, West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi announced that two arrests have been made after a three-month undercover narcotics investigation into illegal activity at the El Primo Mini-Market and Grocery store, located at 320 Main St.  

West Orange Police Department detectives, in concert with the New Jersey Division of Taxation, seized 60 oxycodone pills, called Endocet, a controlled drug substance with a street value of $600, at the store. Also seized was $585, suspected to be drug transaction money, as well as drug paraphernalia, hundreds of loose and untaxed cigarettes and other illegally obtained tobacco products.

Mini-Market owners Rafael Cabrera, 58, and Luisa Cabrera, 47, both of 5 South Maple St. in East Orange, were arrested at the store after several citizen complaints and tips led police to begin a three-month undercover investigation into alleged illegal operations.

The Cabreras were charged with illegal possession and distribution of Endocet, a controlled drug substance, within 1,000 feet of a school (Washington Elementary) and distribution of a controlled substance within 500 feet of a park, among other charges.

The NJ Division of Taxation charged the couple with possession of contraband cigarettes and engaging in cigarette transactions with unlicensed persons.

“I commend our police detectives, who worked diligently for months on this investigation, proving that we will stop at nothing to find and arrest those who engage in illegal drug activity in West Orange,” Parisi said.

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