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24 charged in alleged NJ drug distribution network

June 2, 2012 4:10:37 PM PDT
Two dozen people have been arrested in connection with a violent drug distribution network that authorities say spanned four northern New Jersey counties.

Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi says the arrests announced Saturday were the culmination of an investigation involving multiple law enforcement agencies.

It started after a shooting in Morristown last October that left two people wounded.

Bail was set at $1 million each for 32-year-old Linden residents Rashan Caldwell and Jamion Fenner, who authorities say led the ring. "Mr. Fenner and Mr. Caldwell are allegedly the leaders in a high-level position of a drug distribution network, acting in the capacity of financers, organizers, supervisors, and managers," said Bianchi.

Caldwell also is accused of being the gunman in the shooting that launched the investigation.

Several members of Caldwell's family - including his mother - were among the 24 people arrested in raids that were mostly conducted early Friday.

Authorities were still looking for seven other suspects late Saturday afternoon.

Prosecutors say a seven month investigation found the ring operated in four counties: Morris, Essex, Union and Warren.

More than $100,000 in weapons, ammunition, cocaine and heroin were seized from multiple locations, including a home in Linden where the alleged ringleaders were picked up.

Police say Caldwell's brother and sister were also part of the ring.

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