TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a drug trafficker from California was sentenced to prison today in connection with the seizure of five pounds of crystal methamphetamine by the Atlantic City Task Force (ACTF) and its federal law enforcement partners in 2016.
Eder M. Gonzalez, 28, of South Gate, Calif., was sentenced today to 10 years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Benjamin Podolnick in Atlantic County. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 13, 2017 to first-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. A co-defendant, Sandra Y. Parra-Quintero, 28, of Hermosillo, Mexico, faces pending charges, including first-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. She is being held in the Camden County Jail with bail set at $350,000.
Deputy Attorneys General James Ruberton and Jennifer Fipp are prosecuting the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau and ACTF.
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, and Brigantine Police Department.
“The Atlantic City Task Force and its federal partners continue to investigate and prosecute drug traffickers bringing major supplies of narcotics into Atlantic City and its surrounding communities,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Methamphetamine destroys lives, and each time we take out a major supplier like this defendant, we make our communities safer.”
“Since its inception, the Atlantic City Task Force, in collaboration with HSI and ATF, has made hundreds of arrests, seized scores of guns, and taken large quantities of heroin, cocaine and meth off the streets of Atlantic City and nearby municipalities,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “The task force is a great example of how you leverage law enforcement resources to target the offenders driving crime in the region.”
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 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 contained approximately five pounds of crystal methamphetamine, with a street value of $40,000.
Attorney General Grewal commended the members of the Atlantic City Task Force, the special agents of HSI Cherry Hill, under the direction of Resident Agent in Charge Richard Reinhold, and the special agents of ATF who worked on the investigation.
For Gonzalez: Assistant Deputy Public Defender Stephen Funk, Atlantic County.
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