DEA New Jersey Seizes 143 Pounds of Cocaine and Arrests Six (6) Individuals
Special Agent in Charge Michael Pasterchick, Jr., of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Newark Division announced the arrests of six (6) individuals, the seizure of 143 pounds of cocaine and several automobiles. The following individuals were arrested:
DEA Special Agents from the Newark and Philadelphia Divisions and agents of the Internal Revenue Service, in conjunction with the Jersey City Police Department, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, and the New Jersey State Police acted upon information they received about a narcotics transportation and distribution network operating in the New Jersey area. Special Agents and officers identified Norberto Fredricks-Vega as the leader of the organization, which is based in Puerto Rico. It was learned that Fredricks-Vega had been receiving large quantities of cocaine in Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic and then smuggling the cocaine into the United States.
On August 13, 2004, defendant Fredricks-Vega delivered a load of cocaine to Eric Fuentes in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area, who then transported the cocaine into New Jersey. Fuentes was subsequently arrested on August 13, 2004 at his residence located at 853 Colonial Avenue, Union, New Jersey, after he off loaded 143 pounds of cocaine into his residence from a vehicle. Also, on the same date Fredericks-Vega, Gonzalez, Otero-Quinones and Cardona-Rosario were arrested in Mount Laurel, New Jersey and Rosado-Figueroa was arrested in Philadelphia after the delivery of cocaine to Fuentes.
DEA Special Agents also seized several high priced automobiles in connection with this investigation. These automobiles have an estimated value of approximately $100,000.00, and were purchased by members of the organization with proceeds from cocaine sales.
Special Agent in Charge Pasterchick recognized the efforts of the special agents and police officers working on this investigation by saying “ the arrests and seizures made during this multi-jurisdictional investigation are a direct result of law enforcement agencies working well together at all levels to stop the flow of drugs into the country and onto our city streets”.
“It’s a great day when 143 pounds of cocaine are under lock and key rather than being pushed to children on the streets of New Jersey and New York,” said United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Christopher J. Christie. “This case is a prime example of the successes that are possible when federal, state and local law enforcement agencies work together in a coordinated manner.”
Mark Larkins, Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, will handle the initial appearance of the defendants on August 16, 2004 in Newark,NJ and the prosecution of this investigation.