Authorities have arrested a woman they say is the borough's biggest heroin dealer.
Karen Tucker, 51, was caught with about five "bricks" of heroin and $1,200 cash during a drug deal in the Mount Arlington train station parking lot on Nov. 16, police said. One "brick" contains about 50 individual bags of heroin, police said. Three others were arrested in the bust.
Tucker, of Deane Road, faces up to five years in jail if convicted of several third-degree charges, police said.
"[Tucker] was the main heroin supplier for Hopatcong," Hopatcong Police Capt. Robert Brennan said.
Authorities followed Tucker for up to four months after receiving a tip while responding to a heroin overdose in Hopatcong, Detective Ryan Tracy said. Tucker made frequent trips to Newark to buy the drugs, which she sold from her home, , the train station and several other locations, Brennan said.
Castaways owner Paul Bogensberger said he had suspected Tucker was dealing drugs out of his bar and had contacted police about her several times.
Tucker would often go into the bathroom with another woman, who would then soon leave the bar, the owner said. Police hadn't specifically said if that activity was related to the alleged drug dealing.
"I've had my suspicions," Bogensberger said. "I don't put up with drugs in my place. If I'm suspicious of drugs in my place, I throw their [butts] out."
Unemployed for more than a year, Tucker told police she made about $6,000 a week selling heroin, Brennan said.
Tucker was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, distribution of a controlled dangerous substance and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance in a parked zone. She was processed and released, police said.
Police hadn't described any charges related to ongoing activity. It wasn't immediately clear if further charges might be pending.
Hopatcong residents Gregory Bracco, 24; John Leonard, 24; and Alexander Cook, 24, each were charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, loitering to commit a drug offense and conspiracy to possess a controlled dangerous substance. Each were processed and released.
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Editor's note: An earlier version of this report said Karen Tucker was caught with 10 pounds of heroin.