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Passaic Sheriff: Detectives Nab Ex-Con With Gun In Paterson Drug Deal

Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik
Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik Photo Credit: COURTESY: Passaic County Sheriff

PATERSON, N.J. -- Narcotics detectives from the Passaic County sheriff's office seized hundreds of bags of heroin and a loaded gun while arresting two men following drug deal, thanks to a concerned citizen's tip, authorities said Wednesday.

A pickup driven by Matthew Schneyer, 25, of Morris Plains pulled up to a curb in front of the detectives in the city's Third Ward on Tuesday and an Audi driven by ex-con Saleem McQueen, also 25, of Paterson pulled up in front of him, Passaic County Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said.

"After a brief conversation, McQueen handed Schneyer a small brick-shaped object, in exchange for [cash]," Berdnik said.

McQueen returned to his vehicle and Schneyer drove off, followed by the detectives.

They stopped him a short distance away and found him carrying the envelopes bound together in a brick, the sheriff said.

The detectives later stopped the Audi and arrested McQueen, who, records show, has convictions for weapons possession in 2008 and drug dealing earlier this year.

In the car they found 442 more bags (worth about $2,500 on the street) and nearly $250 in suspected drug proceeds, which were seized, he said.

Police also took the Audi and will ask a judge to award it to them as forfeiture for criminal acts committed with it, Berdnik said.

During a warranted search of McQueen's Belle Avenue home later, they found a .38-caliber revolver and 20 more bags of heroin, he said.

Schneyer was released pending a court appearance on heroin possession charges.

McQueen was charged with various drug and weapons counts, including being a felon in possession of a firearm. Bail was being set.

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