NEWARK, N.J. – Brian R. Crowell, the Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Paul J. Fishman , the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, announced a Union City, N.J., man involved in a 2009 conspiracy to process, package, and distribute heroin was convicted today for his role in the illegal drug enterprise.
The jury returned a guilty verdict against Jose Manuel Almonte, 38, formerly of Union City, following a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court. Almonte was convicted of both counts charged against him in his indictment: one count of conspiring to manufacture and distribute heroin and one count of possession with intent to manufacture and distribute heroin.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
Almonte conspired with others, including Ramon Delorbe, 40, of New York City, and Joselin Reynoso, 46, of Union City, to operate a heroin processing mill in Union City between April and October 2009. Almonte and his co-conspirators distributed more than one kilogram of heroin. When agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested Almonte and searched the mill, they seized approximately 220 grams of heroin, extensive drug processing and packaging paraphernalia and approximately $8,800 in currency.
On both counts, Almonte faces a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison and a fine of $4 million. Sentencing is currently scheduled for January 11, 2012.
Both Delorbe and Reynoso have pleaded guilty to heroin charges. Delorbe awaits sentencing before Judge Martini. Reynoso has been sentenced and deported.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents and task force officers of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell in Newark, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty verdict.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Randall Cook and Vikas Khanna of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.