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TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that two men were arrested on Monday by the New Jersey State Police and charged in connection with the seizure of 18 kilograms of cocaine and more than $119,000 in alleged drug proceeds.
Carlos Suarez, 44, of Boston, Mass., and Erasmo Colon-Rodriguez, 38, of Lawrence, Mass., were arrested by the New Jersey State Police and charged with the following crimes:
- Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute (1st degree)
- Money Laundering (2nd degree)
- Conspiracy (2nd degree)
- Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree)
On Monday, Nov. 11, at approximately 4:45 p.m., members of the New Jersey State Police Trafficking North Unit assigned to the Opioid Enforcement Task Force spotted a Nissan Rogue traveling northbound on U.S. Route 46 in Ridgefield Park that was suspected to be involved in narcotics trafficking. State Police initiated a motor vehicle stop and obtained consent to search the vehicle, in which they found roughly $44,000 in U.S. currency in two hidden compartments installed in the vehicle. The two men were placed under arrest, and members of the State Police Trafficking North Unit subsequently executed a search warrant for a room at a hotel in South Hackensack where the two men were staying. There they seized approximately 18 kilograms of cocaine, $75,562 in U.S. currency, a money counting machine, and money packaging materials.
The men will be prosecuted by the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crimes Bureau. The New Jersey State Police K-9 Unit, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force, and South Hackensack Police Department also assisted in the investigation.
The first-degree drug charge carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state 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, or for the money laundering charge, an enhanced fine of up to $500,000 and an additional anti-money laundering profiteering penalty of up to three times the amount laundered. The third-degree drug charge carries a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $35,000.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Defense Attorneys: Undetermined.