Parking Lot Heroin Deal Leads to Arrests, Police Say
Police say the incident highlights a growing drug trend in Mahwah
An anonymous tip led to the arrest of two alleged heroin dealers in Mahwah Sunday night, Police Chief James Batelli said Monday.
Police arrested two men who were allegedly carrying heroin in two separate instances in the same Mahwah parking lot Sunday night, Batelli said.
Philip Vomero, 48, of Stanhope, was arrested after 9:50 p.m. Sunday when police allegedly found him slumped over in his car in a McKee Drive parking lot. Police received an anonymous tip about a possible drug transaction in the area, Batelli said.
Vomero was arrested and charged with heroin possession and drug paraphernalia charges after police found a brick of heroin and wax paper folds in his car, Batelli said. Vomero was also found to have outstanding warrants out for his arrest on heroin possession charges out of Morris County, police said.
A short while later, police arrested Matthew Dunghi, 23, of Hackettstown, on heroin possession and drug paraphernalia charges after he was found in the same parking lot with heroin and wax folds, Batelli said.
Police investigations have revealed that the two men know each other, but Batelli said the investigation into their relationship is ongoing.
Police are also investigating a “large quantity of gold jewelry,” found in Vomero’s car, Batelli said.
“[It is] believed that the jewelry found in the vehicle was stolen and additional charges may be filed at a later date as the investigation continues,” Batelli said.
These two incidents are the latest in a string of heroin-related arrests in the township that Batelli said is indicative of the drug becoming a growing problem in Mahwah.
The “increase in heroin arrests and the ease with which individuals can obtain heroin is very alarming,” Batelli said. “Heroin is becoming more and more common in suburban towns and Mahwah is no exception.”
Mahwah Investigator Michael Grassi and Officer Michael Blondin investigated the anonymous tip and conducted the arrests.