|PLEASANTVILLE – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that members of the Atlantic City Task Force and federal agents of U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) have arrested an alleged heroin dealer on weapons charges and first-degree narcotics charges in connection with guns, heroin and cocaine seized from a shed in his yard.
Terrance Harris, 37, of Pleasantville, N.J., was arrested Friday, June 2, when members of the Atlantic City Task Force (ACTF) and HSI stopped his vehicle in Pleasantville. A long-term investigation by the partnering agencies revealed that Harris allegedly is a substantial heroin dealer in the Atlantic City-Pleasantville area. A small quantity of suspected heroin was found in the vehicle after a dog from the Pleasantville Police Department K-9 Unit gave a positive alert for narcotics. A subsequent search of a small shed in the yard of Harris’ residence on North 2nd Street resulted in the seizure of two guns: a stolen Springfield Armory XD Subcompact 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a .223-caliber rifle with laser sight. Also seized in the shed were more than a kilo of heroin – consisting of about 7,900 stamped wax folds of heroin, with half a dozen different brand stamps, and a quantity of bulk heroin – more than a kilo of cocaine, suspected powder cutting agents, mixing utensils, scales and $7,465 in U.S. currency.
Harris is charged with first-degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute, first-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, two counts each of second-degree possession of a weapon during commission of a narcotics offense and second-degree possession of a weapon as a convicted felon, and third-degree charges of possession of heroin and possession of cocaine. Harris was lodged in the Atlantic County Jail. The seized heroin has an estimated street-value of approximately $100,000, and the seized cocaine has an estimated value of more than $40,000.
The ACTF includes the Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, State Parole Board, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office, Atlantic City Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Little Egg Harbor Township Police, Brigantine Police and Pleasantville Police. The task force frequently partners with HSI Cherry Hill, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
“The quantity of heroin seized in this bust – together with the number of brand stamps found and the presence of cutting agents and processing equipment – all point to the fact that Harris was a significant distributor of heroin in the Atlantic City area,” said Attorney General Porrino. “Add in the deadly guns, and we allege that Harris was a dangerous purveyor of addiction and drug-related violence, who fortunately is now off the street.”
“We allege that Harris is exactly the type of criminal that the Atlantic City Task Force was formed to target – a gun-toting drug dealer,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “The vast majority of crime and gun violence in the Atlantic City area is linked to the drug trade and to offenders like Harris, who we allege profited from that trade at the expense of law-abiding residents.”
“Instead of storing yard equipment in his shed, Terrance Harris harbored heroin, cocaine, and weapons, all agents of misery and death,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “I am proud of all of the officers from our partnering agencies who helped shut down this dangerous drug dealer, but I am particularly proud of the lead investigator, Detective I Dennis Quinn, of the State Police Atlantic City Metro Task Force Unit.”
Deputy Attorney General James Ruberton of the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau is assigned to prosecute Harris for the task force. Attorney General Porrino commended all of the members of the Atlantic City Task Force who worked on the investigation, as well as the special agents of the HSI Cherry Hill Office, under the supervision of Group Supervisor John Fitch. Detective Dennis Quinn of the New Jersey State Police was the lead detective on the case for the Atlantic City Task Force.
The first-degree drug charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. The charge of second-degree possession of a weapon as a convicted felon carries a mandatory minimum term of five years of parole ineligibility. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Follow the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office online at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube. The social media links provided are for reference only. The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office does not endorse any non-governmental websites, companies or applications.