12/07/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/08/2022 08:13
Date: December 7, 2022
Newark, NJ - A New York man was arrested in East Rutherford, New Jersey for possessing with intent to distribute approximately 70 kilograms of cocaine and 25 kilograms of fentanyl, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Alejandro Nouel Lajud, of Yonkers, New York, is charged by complaint with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and fentanyl. He was arrested and had his initial court appearance on Dec. 5, 2022, before U.S. Magistrate Judge José R. Almonte and was detained.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Dec. 5, 2022, Lajud was stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike in East Rutherford while driving a tractor-trailer erratically. During a lawful search of the tractor-trailer, law enforcement officers discovered approximately 95 brick-shaped packages, each of which weighed approximately one kilogram. Approximately 70 of the packages contained suspected cocaine and approximately 25 contained suspected fentanyl.
The count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and fentanyl carries a maximum potential penalty of life imprisonment and a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10 million.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the New York Strike Force, under the direction of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Frank A. Tarentino III, with the investigation leading to the charge.
This investigation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations. The 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 and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
The New York OCDETF Strike Force is housed at the DEA's New York Division and includes agents and officers of the DEA; the U. S. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation; the New York City Police Department; the New York State Police; Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the U.S. Marshals Service; New York National Guard; U.S. Coast Guard; Port Washington Police Department; New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision; and the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny Chung of the OCDETF/Narcotics Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.