DEA Nets Largest Meth Seizure Ever In New Jersey
DEC 2 -- (Newark, NJ) Gerard P. McAleer, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New Jersey Division, Prosecutor James Avigliano from the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, along with Sheriff Jerry Speziale from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, announced today that the DEA Task Force had seized a record 165 pounds of crystal methamphetamine worth $11 million and arrested 1 defendant. Crystal methamphetamine, known as “ice,” is a high-purity form of methamphetamine and is usually produced in super labs in Mexico.
On December 1, 2008, Alberto Olguin, was arrested by the DEA New Jersey Task Force and charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute a CDS (Controlled Dangerous Substance). The investigation identified a Mexican based international narcotic organization that utilized members to transport narcotics and illegal drugs into the United States destined for New Jersey and surrounding areas. During the task force investigation, Olguin was identified as a member of this Mexican drug organization. Information revealed that Olguin was in charge of this transport to New Jersey. This investigation is ongoing.
Olguin was arrested on Route 80 East bound in West Paterson, New Jersey; Olguin was driving a tractor trailer full of produce in which plastic food storage containers of the crystal methamphetamine were concealed by commingling it with the produce. Concealment in vehicles is the most commonly encountered method for smuggling Mexican methamphetamine into the United States. It is often packaged in plastic zipper bags or plastic food storage containers.
SAC McAleer stated, “We were prepared for the frigid weather and we have ‘de-iced’ this methamphetamine trafficking organization. This record seizure is a result of the diligence and perseverance of the combined efforts of our Task Force Officers and Special Agents here in New Jersey.”
SAC McAleer credited the cooperation of all the task force agencies involved in this most important investigation. In northern New Jersey, the DEA Task Force is comprised of the following agencies: Bayonne Police Department, Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, East Orange Police Department, Elizabeth Police Department, E nglewood Cliffs Police Department, Englewood Police Department, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Essex County Sheriff’s Office, Ft. Lee Police Department, Hackensack Police Department, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, Immigration Customs Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service, Jersey City Police Department, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police, Newark Police Department, NJ Division of Criminal Justice, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, Paterson Police Department, Port Authority of NY/NJ Police Department, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, and Teaneck Police Department, Union County Prosecutor’s Office.
Passaic County Prosecutor James Avigliano stated “due to the partnership and cooperation between state and Federal law enforcement, we have placed a huge dent in the methamphetamine market here in New Jersey. I applaud all law enforcement that was part of this major international operation.”
"The hard work and dedication of officers from both Passaic County and DEA that were involved in this historic incident should be commended. Seizures of this nature occur because of experienced and alert law enforcement officers. The more large scale confiscations of this nature, the fewer illegal substances find their way onto our streets,” said Sheriff Jerry Speziale.
The investigation is being prosecuted by the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office headed by Prosecutor James Avigliano. Michael DeMarko is the Assistant Prosecutor who will be representing the State.
Notwithstanding the criminal complaint, every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and Federal law.
The complaint charges the defendant with Possession with Intent to Distribution a CDS (Controlled Dangerous Substance). If convicted the defendant faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. Currently Mr. Olguin is being held on a $5 million bail.