Drug Enforcement Administration

New Jersey

Valerie A. Nickerson, Special Agent in Charge

February 26, 2018

Contact: Timothy P. McMahon

Phone Number: (973) 776-1100

Man Pleads To Conspiracy To Distribute More Than 141 Kilograms Of Heroin And Cocaine

TRENTON, 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 National City, California, man today pleaded guilty to his role in a conspiracy to transport 141 kilograms of narcotics from California to New Jersey.
Hector Lucas-Ramos, 42, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin and five kilograms of cocaine.
On Aug. 27, 2017, Lucas-Ramos was arrested in Essex County while he and Abraham Castro, 33, of San Diego, California, were driving a tractor trailer. After the tractor trailer was seen committing several traffic violations, law enforcement officers conducted a motor vehicle stop. During a subsequent search of the tractor trailer, law enforcement officers recovered five large duffle bags containing a total of 56 kilograms of heroin and 85 kilograms of cocaine.
Lucas-Ramos admitted today that he and Castro drove the tractor trailer from California to deliver the narcotics to other conspirators in New Jersey.

The conspiracy charge to which Lucas-Ramos pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and a $10 million fine. His sentencing is scheduled for June 27, 2018. Castro pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy on Nov. 14, 2017, and awaits sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Valerie A. Nickerson in Newark, with the investigation.

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