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Press Release

Essex County Man Admits Fentanyl, Cocaine, and Firearms Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in a narcotics conspiracy involving approximately one kilogram of cocaine and 100 grams of fentanyl, possessing with intent to distribute approximately 482 grams of cocaine, and possessing three firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Carlos Ovidio Gonzalez, 36, of Newark, pleaded guilty before U.S. district Judge Cecchi in Newark federal court to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and fentanyl, one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and one count of possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon.

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

On Dec. 19, 2022, Gonzalez and another individual conspired to distribute approximately one kilogram of cocaine and 100 grams of fentanyl and were arrested shortly after arriving at an agreed-upon location in Kearny to complete the sale. After their arrests, a search of Gonzalez’s home and an apartment uncovered two loaded firearms, an unloaded firearm, ammunition, drug packaging materials, and drugs, including approximately 482 grams of heroin.  Gonzalez had previously been convicted, in New Jersey Superior Court, Morris County, of first-degree drug distribution, second degree weapons possession during a controlled substance offense, and second degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, and was sentenced in 2009 to 30 years in prison.

The counts of fentanyl and cocaine conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute cocaine carry maximum penalties of 30 years in prison and a $2 million fine. The felon in possession count carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 6, 2024.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, and officers with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked Newark Police Department for its assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eli Jacobs of the General Crimes Unit in Newark.


Updated March 21, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 24-104