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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Camden County, New Jersey, Man, Admits Attempting to Distribute and Attempting to Possess with Intent to Distribute Crystal Methamphetamine

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Camden County, New Jersey man today admitted his role in a scheme to possess and distribute crystal methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Mauricio Melendrez, 46, of Blackwood, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle in Camden federal court to an information charging him one count of attempt to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five grams or more of crystal methamphetamine.

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

In May 2014, Melendrez arranged for the delivery of a package containing approximately two pounds of crystal methamphetamine stuffed inside a 4-slice toaster oven. Before the package could be delivered to its intended address on June 3, 2014, law enforcement seized it. Melendrez later discussed this package of crystal methamphetamine with another individual and stated it had been sent to him by a “cartel,” and that Melendrez still owed the cartel money for the crystal methamphetamine.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Susan A. Gibson in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The count to which Melendrez pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5 million, or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 1, 2019.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara A. Aliabadi of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
19-121
Updated April 25, 2019