Eduardo Colon-Lopez, 36, of Philadelphia, was indicted yesterday afternoon by an Atlantic County grand jury on charges of first-degree distribution of cocaine, second-degree conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and third-degree possession of cocaine. Colon-Lopez was arrested on Sept. 20, 2014, in the parking lot of the Deptford Mall as the result of an investigation by the Atlantic City Task Force (ACTF), which is comprised of members of state, county, local and federal law enforcement agencies. Colon-Lopez remains in the Atlantic County Jail with bail set at $250,000.
Colon-Lopez’s arrest was part of an investigation by the Atlantic City Task Force into an alleged conspiracy to distribute bulk quantities of cocaine in Atlantic City. Up until his arrest, Colon-Lopez was known to the ACTF only as “Papito.” To apprehend him, members of the ACTF initiated an undercover investigation through which they allegedly arranged for Colon-Lopez to sell a kilogram of cocaine for $40,000 to an undercover member of the New Jersey State Police. Colon-Lopez allegedly agreed to complete the sale at a location in Atlantic City, but at the last minute, the location was changed to the Deptford Mall. Members of the State Police TEAMS (Technical Emergency and Mission Specialists) Unit arrested Colon-Lopez in the mall parking lot on the morning of Sept. 20, 2014, after he allegedly delivered a black duffel bag containing a plastic-wrapped kilo brick of cocaine to the undercover officer.
Deputy Attorney General James Ruberton presented the case to the Atlantic County grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau. Detective Luis Freites was the lead detective for the New Jersey State Police. Acting Attorney General Hoffman thanked the members of the Atlantic County Task Force responsible for the investigation and arrest, including the New Jersey State Police, ICE Homeland Security Investigations, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office, Atlantic City Police Department and Pleasantville Police Department. Acting Attorney General Hoffman also thanked the Pennsylvania Bureau of Narcotics Investigations for its valuable assistance.
The first-degree charge carries 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 prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while the third-degree charges 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 defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.