|Paterson, N.J. - On Thursday, August 9th, members of the New Jersey State Police Street Gang Unit executed a search warrant at 17-37 Alois Place, Paterson, N.J. During the search of the house, detectives seized a large quantity of prescription drugs and cash. In a strange twist, detectives also found a woman padlocked inside of a bedroom of the residence. Preliminary information indicates that this woman may have been locked in the bedroom for extended periods of time over the last two years.
Prior to the execution of the search warrant, the target, alleged Latin King gang member, Michael Mendez, 42, of Paterson, was detained outside of his residence. After making entry into the house, detectives found approximately 4,200 prescription pills valued at more than $100,000, 190 grams of marijuana valued at $1,900 and $22,567 in cash.
As detectives searched the house, they came upon a bedroom that was padlocked from the outside. As detectives entered the room, they found Mendez's 44-year-old girlfriend in the bedroom. Information developed during the investigation indicates that Mendez held his girlfriend in the bedroom for extended periods of time over the past two years and possibly longer. The investigation is continuing.
The woman was transported to St. Joseph's Medical Center in Paterson for a medical evaluation.
The case will be prosecuted by the by Division of Criminal Justice under the Office of the Attorney General.
Michael Mendez was charged with:
- False Imprisonment
- Criminal Restraint (2 counts)
- Possession of CDS
- Possession of CDS with Intent to Distribute
- Possession with Intent within 500 feet of Public Housing
- Possession with Intent within 100 feet of a School
- Possession of Prescription Legend Drugs
- Possession of CDS with Intent to Distribute / Prescription Legend Drugs
Charges are merely accusations and the suspect is considered innocent until proven guilty