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3 arrested in Newark opioid bust: officials

Posted: 4:47 PM, Feb 11, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-11 16:47:36-05
Fentanyl killed Prince, and thousands of others, in 2016

NEWARK — New Jersey State Police arrested three people amid a bust of an opioid mill operating in Newark that was linked to 29 deaths and 76 overdoses, according to the New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.

The arrests stem from an investigation that began in November between the attorney general's office and the state police's opioid enforcement task force, as well as the national Department of Homeland Security Investigations. The arrests were made Sunday and included a seizure of over 15 pounds of fentanyl and several guns, including high capacity magazines.

Whydia Durham, Dereemus Botts and Nelson Johnson were all arrested and put under several charges, including maintaining a CDS (controlled dangerous substances) facility, possession within 1,000 feet of a school zone, unlawful possessions of weapons and CDS processing equipment.

“The poison that the criminals operating this mill pushed out across New Jersey is alleged to have claimed at least 29 lives,” said Attorney General Grewal. “By working with our federal partners at the Department of Homeland Security, we are bringing a new enforcement approach to beating back this epidemic. We are focusing our efforts on the deadliest mills in New Jersey to choke off the supply of these highly potent drugs at the source where they are mixed and packaged.”

The case will be prosecuted by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.