Essex County Member of Newark Drug Trafficking Organization Responsible for Distribution of Over 1 Kilogram of Heroin Sentenced to 210 Months in Prison
NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County, New Jersey, man and a New York woman were charged for their roles in a fentanyl trafficking conspiracy operating in and around Bergen County, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Plinio Junior Pineda Lopez, 33, of Oakland, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl; Lorendy Diaz Beltre De Inoa, 27, of Yonkers, New York, is charged by complaint with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. They appeared on July 12, 2023, before U.S. Magistrate Judge José R. Almonte in Newark federal court. Lopez was detained and De Iona was released with electronic monitoring.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Lopez conspired with others to distribute large quantities of fentanyl between Florida and New Jersey out of his home. On July 11, 2023, Lopez and De Inoa were arrested in Wallington, New Jersey, while attempting to conduct a drug deal. Law enforcement officers found on De Inoa 1.5 kilograms of fentanyl. Following the arrest, and pursuant to a court-authorized search warrant, law enforcement conducted a search of Lopez’s home and recovered further kilograms of fentanyl hidden throughout the home. The home also contained packaging materials and paraphernalia consistent with those used to package controlled substances. Law enforcement officers recovered a total in excess of approximately 9 kilograms of fentanyl and 1 kilogram of cocaine.
The count charging Lopez with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances carries a maximum potential penalty of life imprisonment, a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a fine of $1 million. The count charging De Inoa with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Newark, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ricky J. Patel; HSI Miami; HSI Jacksonville, Florida; Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations and CBP Office of Field Operations; the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office; Drug Enforcement Administration NY Z-43; the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office; the Oakland Police Department; and the Paterson Police Department with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Goldberg of the Organized Crime/Gang Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.