June 18, 2018
Contact: Timothy P. McMahon
Phone Number: (973) 776-1143
Two charged in plot to distribute multiple pounds of heroin and methamphetamine in Mercer County
(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 two California men were arrested in Mercer County, New Jersey, with over 50 pounds of crystal methamphetamine and nine kilograms of heroin appeared today in Trenton federal court.
Gabriel Acosta Villa, 29, of Lake Forest, California, and Oscar Perez Jr., 23, of Santa Ana, California, are both charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. They appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois H. Goodman and were detained.
On June 17, 2018, law enforcement officers received information that a commercial truck driver and his accomplice planned to sell approximately 50 pounds of crystal methamphetamine to a buyer in the Trenton area. Law enforcement officers set up surveillance near the parking lot of a Robbinsville, New Jersey, restaurant, and observed Acosta walking through the parking lot with two large bags. After Acosta entered a nearby vehicle, law enforcement officers stopped the vehicle and discovered 51 pounds of a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine.
After detaining Acosta, law enforcement officers searched the area and discovered Perez walking alone near the loading docks of a nearby hardware store. A large white tractor trailer was parked nearby with the engine still running. A subsequent search of the tractor’s cab uncovered 9.5 kilograms of a substance that tested positive for heroin.
Both defendants face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and a $10 million fine. U.S. Attorney Carpentio credited special agents of Drug Enforcement Administration’s Camden Resident Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Valerie A. Nickerson, and special agents of Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Cherry Hill, under the direction of Resident Agent in Charge Richard Reinhold, and overseen by Acting Special Agent in Charge Brian Michael of HSI Newark, with the investigation. He also thanked officers of the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Patrick J. Callahan, for their assistance.