NEWARK, N.J. – A Camden County man made his initial appearance today on charges of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine, unlawful possession of ammunition, and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Manuel A. Quinones, 47, of Pennsauken, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine, one count of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, and one count of possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He appeared by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward S. Kiel and was detained.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Jan. 31, 2022, in East Brunswick, New Jersey, law enforcement officers searched Quinones’ vehicle based on probable cause after learning that Quinones possessed narcotics in the vehicle. They recovered approximately 1,000 suspected fentanyl pills and approximately seven pounds of suspected crystal methamphetamine. Law enforcement then obtained written consent to search Quinones’ residence and recovered additional illegal drugs, two firearms, ammunition, a high-capacity drum magazine, and a bulletproof vest. Quinones has previously been convicted of at least one felony offense, including a controlled substance offense.
The charge of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine. The felon in possession of ammunition charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed, a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited members of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force (NYDETF) and the N.J. State Police Crime Suppression Central Unit, Opioid Enforcement Task Force, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newark Field Division, for their assistance. The NYDETF comprises special agents and task force officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division; New York City Police Department, and the New York State Police.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Pesce of the OCDETF/Narcotics Unit in Newark.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.