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Passaic Sheriff's Detectives Bust Illegals In Paterson Cocaine Operation

Danis Servino-Rodriguez, Wilton Mena-Martinez
Danis Servino-Rodriguez, Wilton Mena-Martinez Photo Credit: MUGSHots: Courtesy PASSAIC COUNTY SHERIFF

PATERSON, N.J. -- A Dominican native living in Paterson illegally was selling cocaine from his home before detectives from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office arrested him, seized $25,000 worth of cocaine and confiscated $8,756 in cash and his 2004 BMW 530, authorities said.

Investigators also recovered a handgun reported stolen out of Ohio in 2014 and arrested a second Dominican national who they said also was living in the country illegally.

Detectives from the sheriff's Bureau of Narcotics early in the month-long investigation identified Danis Servino-Rodriguez, 48, as the prime target, Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said.

They were watching Wednesday as Servino-Rodriguez left his Totowa Avenue home with Wilton Mena-Martinez, also 48, from the Bronx, he said.

They stopped the Beamer a short time later and took both into custody after finding 26 zip-lock baggies of cocaine stashed in a secret compartment inside a lint roller, Berdnik said.

A search of Mena-Martinez turned up $7,690 in cash and two more bags of cocaine, he said.

Detectives also found a pound of raw cocaine and $1,066 in cash at Servino-Rodriguez's apartment, the sheriff said.

It was stashed in several household containers that had false compartments -- among them Cheetos, Lipton Iced Tea and a paint can.

They also searched a safe in the apartment and found a loaded .22-caliber Jennings semi-automatic handgun -- reported stolen out of Ohio on 9/12/14 -- and 93 rounds for it.

Servino-Rodriguez gave police bogus documents identifying himself as a U.S. resident from Puerto Rico, the sheriff said.

The Department of Homeland Security placed detainers on both men Berdnik's detectives contacted them.

Sheriff's investigators charged Servino-Rodriguez with various drug and weapons possession counts, as well as hindering.

Mena-Martinez was charged with various drug offenses.

Both were being held in the Passaic County Jail.

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