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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

California Man Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For Role In Cross-Country Cocaine And Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

TRENTON, N.J. – A Los Angeles man was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to traffic five kilograms of cocaine and four kilograms of heroin that were hidden inside large pieces of hydraulic machinery, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Eduardo Barragan Zuninga, 31, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Peter G. Sheridan to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to distribute heroin and cocaine. Judge Sheridan imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

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

From March 2015 through March 2016, Zuninga, Fermin Nunez, 46, also of Los Angeles, and others plotted to hide cocaine and heroin, and the proceeds from narcotics transactions, inside large pieces of hydraulic machinery and ship them across the country.

Nunez arranged for the drugs to be shipped from California to the east coast for distribution by Zuninga and others in the New York metropolitan area. Nunez, with Zuninga’s assistance, similarly arranged for the shipment of the distribution proceeds back to California.

Execution of two search warrants at the conclusion of an investigation conducted by the FBI, in cooperation with local law enforcement partners in Los Angeles, resulted in the seizure of approximately five kilograms of cocaine and four kilograms of heroin from a warehouse in Pennsylvania, and over $260,000 in suspected narcotics proceeds from a piece of hydraulic machinery in a California storage facility.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Zuninga to five years of supervised release. Nunez previously pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and awaits sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bradley W. Cohen in Newark, the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force (L.A. IMPACT) and the Los Angeles Police Department, under the direction of Chief Charlie Beck, with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Molly S. Lorber of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.

Defense counsel: Lisa Van Hoeck Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Trenton

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
18-161
Updated April 17, 2018