Federal agents followed a tractor-trailer loaded with nearly 250 pounds of cocaine for more than 75 miles from South Jersey to New York before busting the driver and a co-conspirator in Yonkers, authorities said.
They were right behind when Eddie Velez-Pena, 33, of Yonkers, stopped the tractor-trailer in the Hunterdon County town of Hampton, NJ, U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Philip R. Sellinger said.
They then followed him and the rig north to the border of Yonkers and the Bronx, the U.S. attorney said.
There Velez-Pena transferred multiple duffle bags to Robin Medina-Fabian, 38, of the Bronx, who tossed them into an SUV, Sellinger said.
The investigators moved in, seized both men and collected the cocaine and drug ledger sheets after obtaining a consent to search the SUV, he said.
Velez-Pena and Medina-Fabian were both charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine as part of an international drug trafficking organization. A federal judge in Newark ordered them held.
Sellinger credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Division with the investigation leading to the charges.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation that he said "identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach."
The strike force is anchored by the DEA’s New York Division and includes agents and officers of:
- the DEA;
- the NYPD;
- New York State Police;
- ICE Homeland Security Investigations;
- IRS Criminal Investigation Division;
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection;
- 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.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny Chung of Sellinger's General Crimes Unit in Newark is handling the investigation.
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