The married couple who owned a West Orange grocery was arrested Friday on charges that they were selling dangerous opioids out of their Main Street store just a short walk from an elementary school, according to township officials.
West Orange undercover detectives and state Division of Taxation investigators conducted a three-month narcotics investigation that resulted in the arrests of Rafael Cabrera, 58, and Luisa Cabrera, 47, both of East Orange.
Officials began their investigation of the El Primo Mini-Market & Grocery Store located at 320 Main St. in West Orange after police received numerous citizen complaints and tips about alleged shady activity there, according to township officials.
The minimart is some 400 feet from Washington Elementary School.
Cops moved on their investigation Friday, seizing approximately 60 oxycodone pills with a street value of $600; $585 in cash believed to be derived from the sales of drug transactions; drug paraphernalia; hundreds of loose and untaxed cigarettes and other illegally obtained tobacco products, according to West Orange officials.
Rafael and Luisa Cabrera were both charged with possession, distribution of a controlled drug substance within 1,000 feet of a school and distribution of a controlled substance within 500 feet of a park, among other charges.
Charges stemming from the NJ Division of Taxation include possession of contraband cigarettes and engaging in cigarette transactions with unlicensed persons, among other charges, officials said Tuesday.
“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,” Mayor Robert Parisi said.