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Passaic Sheriff: Dealer, 62, Has 6,570 Heroin Bags, Buyer Injures Officer

Jose R. Torres (smiling), Alan Valdez (inset)
Jose R. Torres (smiling), Alan Valdez (inset) Photo Credit: MUGSHOTS: Courtesy PASSAIC COUNTY SHERIFF

PATERSON, N.J. -- Passaic County sheriff's detectives chased down an accused heroin buyer who broke one of their fingers during a struggle and an alleged 62-year-old dealer who had nearly $25,000 worth of the drug packaged in 6,570 glassine envelopes, authorities said.

A "concerned citizen" led his detectives to 775 East 22nd Street in Paterson, Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said.

As they watched, a silver Hyundai pulled up in front and 21-year-old Alan Valdez of Paterson got out of the passenger side, he said.

Valdez "walked up the driveway near the rear of the house" and took a package of heroin from a man later identified as Jose R. Torres, 62, also of Paterson, the sheriff said.

Valdez got back into the Hyundai, which detectives followed and then stopped at the intersection East 23rd Street and 18th Avenue, Berdnik said.

Valdez hopped out and ran, tossing 280 bags of heroin behind 829 East 23rd Street, before detectives chased him down, the sheriff said.

At that point, he said, Valdez "began flailing his arms and was refusing to place his hands behind his back to be handcuffed."

A detective sustained a broken finger during the struggle, Berdnik said.

Detectives returned to 775 East 22nd, arrested Torres and seized 6,570 bags of heroin, the sheriff said.

Valdez was charged with a variety of drug offenses, as well as two counts of resisting arrest, and turned over to Sussex County sheriff's officers on an outstanding warrant, he said.

Torres -- who smiled for his mugshot -- was ordered held in the Passaic County Jail pending a detention hearing on various drug charges.

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