TRENTON - Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that two Bergen County men were indicted today by a state grand jury on first-degree drug charges for allegedly possessing a total of 51 kilograms of cocaine that were seized by the Division of Criminal Justice in 2011.
Mario C. Miller, 33, and Jesus Rivera, 54, both of Edgewater, were indicted on charges of first-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and second-degree conspiracy. Rivera was also charged with first-degree distribution of cocaine and third-degree possession of cocaine.
Miller and Rivera were arrested on April 10, 2011, when they met in a parking lot outside Miller’s residence on Portside Drive. The New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, which was working in cooperation with the New York Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, had established surveillance at the site. The two men were arrested as Rivera allegedly retrieved a box containing 10 kilos of cocaine from his car and delivered it to Miller. Detectives executed search warrants for the box and the cars of both men. Rivera’s car was parked at his home at the time. In addition to the 10 kilos of cocaine in the box, the detectives allegedly seized 40 kilos of cocaine from Rivera’s car and approximately one kilo of cocaine from Miller’s car.
Deputy Attorney General Christopher S. Romanyshyn, Chief of the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, presented the case to the state grand jury. Detective Kevin Weinkauff was the lead detective for the Division of Criminal Justice.
The first-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $500,000. The second-degree charge carries a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while the third-degree charge carries a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $35,000.
The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson in Mercer County, who assigned the case to Bergen County.