Arrests 4 Mexican Nationals and Seizes
DEC 3--Special Agent in Charge Michael Pasterchick, Jr., of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced today that the DEA had arrested 4 Mexican nationals and seized 15 pounds of methamphetamine and 11 pounds cocaine. Additionally, two trucks were seized; one had a hidden compartment in the vehicle, in which the seized drugs were secretly hidden.
During this 6 month investigation, information revealed that Bernadino Garcia wanted to start supplying the New Jersey area with crystal methamphetamine and cocaine. Once agreements were made between undercover agents and Bernadino Garcia, his organization was to deliver substantial quantities of crystal methamphetamine and cocaine to the Newark, New Jersey area.
On 12-01-2004, in Newark, New Jersey, an undercover operation was initiated, in which law enforcement was waiting for the delivery of 15 pounds of crystal methamphetamine and 11 pounds of cocaine from Bernadino Garcia and his organization. Pursuant to previous negotiations by undercover agents, approximately $200 thousand dollars (wholesale price) was to be exchanged for the drugs by law enforcement. Once Bernadino Garcia and his organization arrived in Newark they displayed the drugs from the hidden compartment and were subsequently arrested without incident.
Arrested on 12-01-2004, were the following defendants:
1. Bernadino Garcia, 40 YOA, Brentwood, TN
SAC Pasterchick credited the cooperation of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), FBI, and the Newark Police Department who assisted in this investigation. SAC Pasterchick stressed that “throughout this investigation several diversion techniques were used to conceal the organization’s drug trade and delivery system. Such as the hidden compartment that was identified in the trapped vehicle. This technique is used to hide the organizations drugs, money, and weapons.” This organization wanted to supply New Jersey with illegal drugs that poison our communities. Today, due to the outstanding collaborative efforts from law enforcement, these organizational members are in jail and their distribution network is dismantled”.
The investigation is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey headed by U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie. John Gay is the Assistant United States Attorney who will represent the Government.
Notwithstanding the criminal complaint, every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and federal law.
The complaint charges the defendants with possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy. If convicted each defendant faces a statutory maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a statutory minimum of 10 years in federal prison and a $4. million dollar fine.