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United States Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey

04/10/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/10/2019 14:13

California Man Charged With Conspiracy To Possess With Intent To Distribute Over 53 Kilograms Of Fentanyl And Cocaine

NEWARK, N.J. - A California man was arrested and charged today in connection with his role in driving into New Jersey with a tractor trailer containing suspected fentanyl and cocaine, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito; Ray Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; New York City Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill; Keith M. Corlett, Acting Superintendent of the New York State Police; and Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations New York, announced.

Jose Santos Garcia Guzman, 43, is charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute approximately 53 kilograms of suspected fentanyl and cocaine. He is scheduled to appear today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Law enforcement officers arrested Guzman today in Middlesex County, New Jersey. During an investigation into a drug trafficking organization, law enforcement officers learned that the organization was shipping narcotics from California via tractor trailer. Officers conducted surveillance of a tractor trailer driven by Guzman. While he was in Keasbey, New Jersey, the truck he was driving was stopped by law enforcement officers.

Guzman provided both oral and written consent to search the tractor trailer, in which law enforcement officers found the suspected fentanyl and cocaine. Law enforcement subsequently field tested the substances; approximately 46 kilograms tested positive for the presence of cocaine, and approximately seven kilograms tested positive for the presence of fentanyl.

The count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and cocaine carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison, and a $10 million fine.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the Drug Enforcement Administration's New York Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Donovan, with the investigation. Today's arrest was the result of an investigation by the New York Strike Force, a crime-fighting unit comprising federal, state and local law enforcement agencies supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation's illegal drug supply.

The Strike Force is housed at the DEA's New York Division and includes agents and officers of the DEA, the New York City Police Department, the New York State Police, Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations, the U. S. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, New York National Guard, the Clarkstown Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard, Port Washington Police Department and New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito also thanked New York City's Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan for assisting in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Williams, Chief of the U.S. Attorney's Office OCDETF/Narcotics Unit.

Defense counsel: John Yauch Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark