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News Release
June 1, 2005

DEA and Northern New Jersey HIDTA Task Force Arrest Two and Seize 900 Pounds of Cocaine in Palisades Park

JUN 1 -- Special Agent in Charge Michael Pasterchick, Jr., of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced today that the DEA and Northern New Jersey HIDTA Task Force based in Paterson, NJ arrested two individuals and seized approximately 900 pounds of cocaine.

Pursuant to a search of a residence at 36 East Harwood Terrace, Palisades Park, NJ, the Task Force encountered a cocaine “stash house”. The stash location contained 409 kilogram packages or approximately 900 pounds of cocaine destined for the cities and streets of northern New Jersey.

Arrested on June 1, 2005, were the following defendants:

1. Edwin Sanchez, DOB 10/6/74

2. Roberto Galan, DOB 9/04/69

During the ongoing task force investigation, surveillance revealed that the above defendants were possibly utilizing the East Harwood Terrace address as a location to store cocaine that had been smuggled into the United States by the organization, to be supplied to distributors in the northern NJ area. Throughout the investigation several diversion techniques were used to conceal the organization’s drug trade, to include setting up their cocaine “stash house” in a residential area to blend in with the community. All are facing federal distribution of cocaine and conspiracy charges.

SAC Pasterchick credited the cooperation of all the Task Force agencies involved in this most important investigation. SAC Pasterchick stressed that “the cooperation between agencies was paramount to the success of this criminal drug organization being significantly disrupted” The HIDTA Task Force Group located in Paterson, NJ is comprised of the following agencies: DEA, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Sheriff’s Department, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Paterson Police Department, and Fort Lee Police Department. The Palisades Park Police Department also assisted in the investigation.

The investigation is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey headed by U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie. Meg Mahoney 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 distribution and conspiracy. If convicted each defendant faces a statutory maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a statutory minimum of 10 years in federal prison and a $4 million dollar fine.

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