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Vacant Jeep Used For Paterson Drug Deal Had Sheriff's Detectives' Attention

Joshua Quistgaard, Marques Williams
Joshua Quistgaard, Marques Williams Photo Credit: MUGSHOTS: Courtesy PASSAIC COUNTY SHERIFF

PATERSON, N.J. -- A heroin buyer and seller who used an unoccupied Jeep in a Paterson neighborhood as an exchange point were arrested by Passaic County sheriff's detectives who'd been watching them the entire time, authorities said Thursday.

Working a tip from a concerned citizen about drug dealing in the area of Wayne Avenue and James Street, investigators set up near the vehicle around 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said.

Another Jeep pulled up and remained idling while the driver -- identified as Joshua Quistgaard, 39, of East Stroudsburg, PA -- worked his cellphone, the sheriff said.

Moments later, a man identified as 26-year-old Marques Williams of Paterson approached the unoccupied vehicle holding a bag, Berdnik said.

"Williams opened the rear passenger door, placed the bag on the seat and left the area," he said.

Quistgaard then got out of his Jeep holding cash, fetched the bag and left the money, the sheriff said.

Detectives followed Quistgaard out of the area, then pulled him over and seized the bag, which held 200 small folds of heroin, while taking him into custody, he said.

Meanwhile, the remaining detectives kept watch on the unoccupied Jeep.

Soon after, Williams returned for the cash and was arrested, Berdnik said.

A search of his Union Avenue home turned up 600 more heroin envelopes and 28 zip-locking bags of crack, he said.

Detectives seized the drugs, along with $856 in suspected proceeds, the sheriff said.

The total street value of all of the heroin and crack found was about $3,500, he said.

Both Quistgaard and Williams were eventually released on their own recognizance, pending a court hearing, under New Jersey's new bail reform law.

Police charged Williams with nine drug-related offenses and Quistgaard with three, Berdnick said.

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