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Passaic Sheriff: High-Capacity Rifle, Stolen Gun, 4 Arrests In Drug Bust

(From left): Jose Rodriguez-Marquez, Earl Johnson, Kenneth Adams, Shawn Bethea
(From left): Jose Rodriguez-Marquez, Earl Johnson, Kenneth Adams, Shawn Bethea Photo Credit: COURTESY: Passaic County Sheriff

PATERSON, N.J. -- A loaded handgun that was reported stolen and a rifle fitted with a high-capacity magazine were seized -- along with 70 envelopes of heroin and nearly two ounces of crack -- by Passaic County sheriff's officers who arrested four men.

Narcotics detectives watched as Shawn Bethea, 45, completed a drug deal Monday night in front of 88-90 North 4th Street before moving in, Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said.

They pulled over and arrested Jose Rodriguez-Marquez, 55, of Paterson a short distance away after Bethea sold him two heroin folds, Berdnik said.

They then grabbed Bethea as 34-year-old Earl Johnson of Paterson fled, the sheriff said.

Johnson later returned to his room at the house and was arrested, Berdnik said.

A search of the room turned up a loaded .357 Ruger revolver reported stolen out of Pennsylvania, along with the heroin, crack and nearly $300 in drug proceeds, the sheriff said.

Also arrested was Kenneth Adams, 31, who had a 9mm Hi-Point rifle, equipped with a high-capacity magazine loaded with 13 rounds, in the room where he was staying, Berdnik said.

Rodriguez-Marquez was released pending a hearing on drug charges.

Sent to the Passaic County Jail were Bethea, who was charged with heroin-related offenses, along with Johnson, on drug and weapons counts, and Adams, on weapons charges.

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