|TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that three men have been indicted on a first-degree heroin charge in connection with 2 kilograms of heroin that the New Jersey State Police seized during a search of the residence of one of the men in Edgewater, Bergen County, in March.
The Division of Criminal Justice obtained a four-count indictment yesterday (Dec. 2) charging the following men with first-degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute, second-degree conspiracy, third-degree possession of heroin, and third-degree money laundering:
- Miguel Angel Guzman-Nieves, 49, of Houston, Texas,
- Jonathan Antistian Jackson, 26, of Edgewater, N.J., who is Guzman-Nieves’ son, and
- Hoover Rodriguez, 66, of Houston, Texas.
On March 7, 2013, State Police detectives stopped a Cadillac STS in which the three men were riding on the New Jersey Turnpike South in Hamilton, Mercer County. The stop was made as part of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Drug Trafficking North Unit, which revealed that the man were allegedly using Jackson’s residence and the vehicle in connection with the distribution of narcotics. Detectives found $34,950 in cash in the vehicle during a consensual search. A subsequent consensual search of Jackson’s residence on River Road in Edgewater by the State Police led to the seizure of a bag containing approximately 2 kilograms of heroin. The state has filed a civil action seeking forfeiture of the Cadillac and the cash seized, which also includes $1,969 in cash found on the defendants.
Deputy Attorney General Ray Mateo presented the case to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.
The first-degree charge carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. The second-degree charge carries a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while the third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and fines of up to $35,000 for the drug possession charge and $500,000 for the money laundering charge.
The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are 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.