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Justice News

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

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

California Man Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison For Role In Heroin Distribution Scheme

NEWARK, N.J. – A California man who swallowed plastic bags containing approximately 600 grams of heroin and later admitted that he possessed the drug with intent to distribute it was sentenced today to 30 months in prison, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Omar Vasques, 24, of Bakersfield, California, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge John Michael Vazquez to an information charging him with one count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin. Judge Vazquez imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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

On Sept. 15, 2016, Vasques landed at Newark Liberty International Airport on a commercial flight after having swallowed 81 “pellets” of heroin wrapped in plastic baggies. He intended to distribute the heroin after his arrival but was apprehended by law enforcement authorities, who escorted Vasques to a hospital. Vasques underwent emergency surgery after hospital staff discovered that one of the baggies had ruptured.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Vazquez sentenced Vasques to three years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Valerie Nickerson, in Newark for the investigation that led to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan M. Peck of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit.

Defense Counsel: Anthony C. Mack Esq., Newark

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
Updated January 10, 2018