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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2007

For further Information Contact:
Special Agent Douglas S. Collier,
Public Information Officer
TEL: (973) 776-1143
CEL: (862) 849-9833

DEA Arrests Lead To Largest Ever Meth Seizure In NJ

MAR 6 -- (NEWARK) Gerard P. McAleer, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New Jersey Division announced that the DEA had arrested 4 defendants and seized 75 pounds of crystal methamphetamine and 466 pounds of cocaine. This is the largest seizure of crystal methamphetamine in the state.

During this investigation, information revealed that Anthony ZASA was part of a Mexican drug trafficking organization that was supplying the Northeastern part of the United States with crystal methamphetamine and cocaine. ZASA and his organization were to deliver substantial quantities of crystal methamphetamine and cocaine to the Newark, New Jersey area.

On 02-28-2007, during a routine traffic stop in Texas, law enforcement officials discovered more than 212 kilograms (466 pounds) of cocaine contained in a Winnebago bound for New Jersey. Through diligent investigative efforts, DEA agents identified that this Mexican poly-drug organization was also going to deliver 75 pounds of crystal methamphetamine in Newark, New Jersey.

Mr. McAleer stated, “All the defendants were significant players in one tentacle of a Mexican drug organization. This tentacle has been dismantled and the Mexican drug trafficking organization has been disrupted by this seizure.”

Arrested on 02-28-2007, were the following defendants:

1. Anthony ZASA, 52 YOA, Elfrida, AZ
2. Rocco ZASA, 56 YOA, Tucson, AZ
3. Kacey ROOT, 25 YOA, Tucson, AZ

Arrested on 03-03-2007

4. Adriana FERNS, 28 YOA, Coventry, RI

Two other defendants have been charged and remain at large.

SAC McAleer credited the cooperation of the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other law enforcement agencies from Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Jersey that assisted in this investigation.

The investigation is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey under the leadership of U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie. Sharon Ash is the Assistant United States Attorney who will represent the Government.

Notwithstanding the criminal complaint, every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and federal law.

The complaint charges the defendants with possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy. If convicted each defendant faces a statutory maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a statutory minimum of 20 years in federal prison and a $4. million dollar fine.

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