September 22, 2023

Two people were arrested Monday after investigators in Paterson seized more than four pounds of cocaine worth about $200,000, authorities said.

Gisela Arroyo Valentin, 35, of Newark, and David Ventura, 39, of Paterson, face various first-degree drug possession charges, according to Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik.

Arroyo Valentin was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child for having her two children in the vehicle while picking up 4 pounds of suspected cocaine, Berdnik said in a statement.

According to the sheriff, investigators in unmarked vehicles set up surveillance at an unspecified location in Paterson and watched as Arroyo Valentin drove up and double-parked around 3:45 p.m. on Monday. Ventura was observed getting out of the car and entering a nearby building, Berdnik said.

Moments later and while in the building he entered, (Ventura) was given a package containing cocaine, the sheriff alleged in the statement.

Detectives followed Ventura as he left the building with the package and walked toward the car. They stopped him as he was about to open the front passenger door of the car, Berdnik said.

Ventura and Arroyo Valentin were both arrested at the scene and taken into custody. Ventura allegedly told detectives that he was aware of the contents of the package, said he was picking the item up for Arroyo Valentin and being paid $1,000, Berdnik said.

In Arroyo Valentins coat pocket, detectives recovered $1,000, the sheriff said. Both suspects were taken to the Passaic County Jail to await a first appearance in court, Berdnik said.

Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find on Facebook.

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