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Passaic Sheriff: Drug 'Trap House' Yields Gun, Heroin, Xanax, 4 Arrests

Passaic County sheriff's detectives were watching the house when their primary suspect emerged.
Passaic County sheriff's detectives were watching the house when their primary suspect emerged. Photo Credit: GoogleMaps

PATERSON, N.J. -- A raid by Passaic County sheriff's officers on a Paterson "trap house" where buyers could use their drugs yielded a loaded handgun, 300 envelopes of heroin and 115 Xanax pills -- along with four arrests, authorities said Friday.

A confidential text-a-tip lead detectives to the Park Avenue home, where they identified 46-year-old ex-con Reginald Bryant as their main target, Sheriff Richard N. Berdnik said.

"Bryant was operating what is commonly referred to as a 'trap house,' a location in which narcotics of all varieties are distributed to the general public and often the users are allowed to use the drugs they purchase inside the house rather than leave with them," the sheriff said.

As detectives were watching the house Wednesday afternoon, Bryant emerged and got into a maroon Mercedes that they stopped a short distance away, Berdnik said.

They arrested Bryant after finding him carrying 250 folds of heroin and several grams of crack.

The vehicle was seized pending forfeiture proceedings, the sheriff said.

Told that weapons were inside the house, Berdnik's officers summoned the Passaic County SWAT team for a search that turned up a loaded, .380 semi-automatic handgun, a pellet handgun and the remaining heroin and Xanax, he said.

Detectives also found empty baggies, stamps and a scale, among other paraphernalia, the sheriff said.

All told, they seized $5,000 worth of drugs, along with the Mercedes, he said.

Bryant was charged with 15 offenses, including being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and various drug counts.

Also arrested was another ex-con, 31-year-old Joaquin Bennett, who Berdnik said was found with the semi-automatic and the heroin.

Both Bryant and Bennett were taken to the Passaic County Jail pending detention hearings.

Also arrested in the house were Aime Owens, 36, of Atlantic City, who was wanted on a criminal warrant for robbery out of Atlantic County, and Keith Hill, 47, of Paterson, who had a criminal warrant out of Bergen County, the sheriff said.

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