TRENTON – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that two alleged drug traffickers – a man and a woman – were indicted today in connection with the seizure of five pounds of crystal methamphetamine by the Atlantic City Task Force and its federal law enforcement partners.
Eder M. Gonzalez, 27, of South Gate, Calif., and Sandra Y. Parra-Quintero, 27, of Hermosillo, Mexico, were indicted today by an Atlantic County grand jury on charges of first-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, second-degree conspiracy, and third-degree possession of methamphetamine. They are being held in the Camden County Jail with bail for each set at $350,000.
The defendants were arrested in an investigation by the Atlantic City Task Force (ACTF) and ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Cherry Hill Office, assisted by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the New Jersey State Police TEAMS South Unit. The Atlantic City Task Force includes the Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, State Parole Board, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office, Atlantic City Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Brigantine Police Department and Pleasantville Police Department.
The partnering agencies developed information that the two defendants were transporting a large quantity of methamphetamine and would be delivering it to a location in Camden on August 9, 2016. Officers and agents had the location under surveillance when Gonzalez and Parra-Quintero arrived in a Volkswagen Jetta with Mexican plates. Gonzalez allegedly used tools to disassemble the dashboard and remove nine packages wrapped in black duct tape. Law enforcement then converged on the vehicle and arrested the defendants without incident. The packages allegedly contained approximately five pounds of crystal methamphetamine, with a street value of $40,000.
“Once again, the Atlantic City Task Force and its federal partners have intercepted a major shipment of narcotics and taken the alleged traffickers out of commission,” said Attorney General Porrino. “Methamphetamine is a dangerous and corrosive drug that destroys lives, but to these alleged drug dealers, five pounds of meth just represented a big payday.”
“The Atlantic City Task Force continues to achieve great results through collaboration, partnering with federal agencies and marshalling its members to fight drug dealing and violent crime throughout the region,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Drug interdiction is an important component of the task force’s multifaceted mission.”
Deputy Attorneys General Martin Z. Steiner and James Ruberton of the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau are assigned to the case, and Deputy Attorney General Steiner presented the case to the grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau and ACTF. Attorney General Porrino commended the members of the Atlantic City Task Force, HSI, ATF and State Police who worked on the investigation.
The first-degree drug charge carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while the third-degree charge carries a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $35,000.
The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Donna M. Taylor in Atlantic County, where the defendants will be ordered to appear in court at a later date for arraignment.
Parra-Quintero: Winston Extavour, Esq., Haddonfield, N.J.
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