Nearly 8 kilos of cocaine were seized along with opiates and guns.
Nine members of a major cocaine ring operating out of Paterson have been indicted following an eight-month investigation that turned up cocaine, opiates, guns and cash, authorities said Tuesday.
Eight suspects have been identified and investigators continue to look for a ninth who cut and packaged cocaine with other suspects.
Police in New Jersey and Pennsylvania seized nearly eight kilos of cocaine, 82 fentanyl pills, a small amount of heroin, three handguns and more than $76,000 cash, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said in a statement.
Officers with the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation.
Grewal said three alleged top suppliers in the network are each charged with promoting organized street crime, a first-degree charge that carries a sentence of 15 to 30 years in state prison.
The three suspects, all from Paterson, were identified as:
Jose Encarnacion, 35, who was allegedly the primary supplier in the network. He allegedly obtained cocaine in New York City and supplied it to other individuals in the network. He also faces a first-degree charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
Adrian Mena-Acevedo, 25, allegedly obtained large quantities of cocaine from Encarnacion, which he distributed to other suppliers in the network. He also faces a first-degree charge of maintaining or operating a narcotics production facility.
Luis Peguero-Nin, 27, allegedly obtained large quantities of cocaine from Mena-Acevedo, which he distributed to another supplier in the network and street-level dealers. He also faces first-degree charges of distributing cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and maintaining or operating a narcotics production facility.
Peguero-Nin, an alleged member of the Trinitarios, or 3NI, street gang, allegedly supplied cocaine to another alleged gang member, Jeffrey Jaquez, 27, of Passaic, who in turn allegedly supplied street-level dealers. Jaquez at times allegedly obtained cocaine directly from Mena-Acevedo.
Jaquez faces multiple first-degree counts of distribution of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
“By dismantling this supply network and locking up its members, we cut off a major source of cocaine for drug dealers in and around New Jersey’s third-largest city,” Grewal said in a statement.
“Rather than just locking up street-level dealers or low-level members of this network, we cut deep into the supply line, which is the best way to stop the flow of these destructive drugs into our communities,” Grewal said.
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Source:: New Jersey Real-Time News