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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 5, 2017

Bergen County, New Jersey, Woman Sentenced To 37 Months In Prison For Role In Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy

NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergenfield, New Jersey, woman was sentenced today to 37 months in prison for her role in a conspiracy to traffic approximately two kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico to New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Sasha Melendez, 38, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to an information charging her with one count of conspiring to distribute cocaine. Judge Cecchi imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Melendez was the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of an ongoing conspiracy to import cocaine from Puerto Rico. She was arrested on March 24, 2015 in Bergen County after she accepted delivery of a mail parcel from Puerto Rico containing approximately two kilograms of cocaine. Melendez admitted at her plea hearing that she conspired with co-defendant Ramis Esteves, 33, of New York, to distribute the cocaine.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Cecchi sentenced Melendez to three years of supervised release.

Estevez previously pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and awaits sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn, and special agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski, with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan M. Peck of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit.

Defense Counsel: Stacey Van Malden, Esq.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
17-002
Updated January 5, 2017