NEWARK — A quartet of New Jersey men has been sentenced to a combined 36 years behind bars after all pleading guilty in the spring in connection with a narcotics trafficking ring that operated near Interstate 78 in New Jersey's most populous city.

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General announced Monday that Dashon Coleman, 40, of Kearny, and Quameer Elamin, 30, Hashawn Landrum, 42, and Lamon Thomas, 50, all of Newark, were sentenced in Essex County Sept. 9, nearly four years after their December 2018 arrests that followed an eight-month investigation.

That investigation, led by the New Jersey State Police, dismantled a so-called "drive-through" drug distribution operation based on Ridgewood Avenue in Newark, by which drivers exiting Route 78 could purchase heroin.

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In addition to the four arrests, guilty pleas and sentences, the investigation yielded the seizure of two AR-15 assault rifles, 10 handguns, a tactical shotgun, seven large-capacity ammunition magazines, more than 100,000 bags of heroin and a kilogram of crack and powder cocaine, and upwards of $195,000 in cash, according to OAG.

As part of all four men's plea deals, they each admitted to committing first-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute.

Coleman and Elamin, who also pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of an assault weapon, were sentenced to 14 and five years in state prison, respectively.

Landrum additionally pleaded guilty to second-degree possession of a firearm in the commission of a CDS offense, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Coleman, Elamin, and Landrum each received a period of parole eligibility of 42 months, or three and a half years.

Thomas' prison sentence was set at seven years.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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