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New York man charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine

(NEWARK, N.J.) – Valerie A. Nickerson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, and Craig Carpenito, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, announced a Bronx, New York, man who was arrested with 24 kilograms of narcotics stored in the trunk of a taxi made his initial appearance today in Newark federal court.

Franklin Grullon, 43, is charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. He appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III and was released on $200,000 unsecured bond.

During a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation of a drug trafficking ring operating in New Jersey, New York, and elsewhere, law enforcement officers learned that Grullon was supposed to collect a shipment of narcotics in the area.

On Feb. 11, 2018, law enforcement officers observed Grullon drive a New York taxi to meet with an individual at a gas station and truck stop in Pennsylvania. After the two met, Grullon drove away and checked into a hotel in White Haven, Pennsylvania.

Shortly thereafter, law enforcement officers spoke to Grullon, who said that he traveled to the area to drop off a passenger at a nearby mall. However, a search of the taxi’s trunk revealed two bags containing a total of 24 kilograms of a substance that tested positive for cocaine.

The cocaine distribution conspiracy charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life imprisonment, and a $10 million fine.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Valerie A. Nickerson in Newark, as well as the DEA Scranton Resident Office, with the investigation leading to the charge.


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