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Hundreds arrested in New Jersey heroin sweep

(Reuters) - More than 300 people have been arrested in a heroin sweep in northern New Jersey that netted more than $350,000 worth of the drug, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Roughly 280 users and 40 dealers were picked up in the sweep, ranging in age from 18 to 65, Bergen County, New Jersey Prosecutor John Molinelli said.

The sweep began in May, with an array of law enforcement agents targeting buyers and sales of the drug in the city of Paterson.

Authorities dismantled two heroin mills, where the drug was being prepared for sale in Paterson, the statement said.

Nearly 12,000 bags of packaged heroin were confiscated, along with enough raw heroin to fill an additional 60,000 bags, the statement said.

The street value exceeded $350,000, it said.

The operation aimed to "proactively combat the current heroin epidemic facing our communities in a holistic manner," Molinelli said in the statement.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Sandra Maler)

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