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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 2, 2016

Essex County, New Jersey, Man Admits Role In Oxycodone Distribution Ring

NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in a conspiracy to illegally obtain and distribute oxycodone in New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Matthew Policarpio, 28, of Newark, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.

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

Using confidential sources, physical surveillance, and recorded text messages and telephone calls, investigators with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) discovered that members and suppliers of a drug trafficking organization secured prescriptions for oxycodone and other controlled substances from various doctors in New Jersey, filled them at pharmacies in Belleville and elsewhere, and sold the drugs for a profit. The investigation identified Policarpio as a member of the drug trafficking organization.

Policarpio admitted that from Feb. 5, 2014, to Aug. 13, 2014, he personally purchased pills containing oxycodone from conspirators and then sold the pills to others. He admitted that in one instance, he arranged to buy 180 pills containing oxycodone from conspirators on June 12, 2014.  He traveled to a pharmacy in East Orange, New Jersey, with conspirators and gave them $450, which they used to purchase 180 Endocet pills from the pharmacy. The pills were then provided to Policarpio, who resold them.

Oxycodone is a Schedule II controlled substance – meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, has a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions, and abuse of the drug may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. The Endocet pills obtained and re-sold by Policarpio each contained 10 milligrams of oxycodone.

The charge to which Policarpio pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 12, 2016.

Of the individuals originally charged with Policarpio, Victoria Horvath, 43, and Ricky Horvath, 54, of Belleville, New Jersey; Monica Horvath, 22, Tony Marco, 47, and Steven Horvath, 45, all of Rutherford, New Jersey, and Justin Farraj, 24, of Newark, New Jersey, have pleaded guilty and await sentencing. Brian Perez, 23, was sentenced to a term of 40 months in prison in September 2014. Luis Rivera, 25, was sentenced to 54 months in prison in August 2015. Daniel Horvath, 27, was sentenced to 27 months in prison and Johnny Horvath, 46, was sentenced to 30 months in prison in April 2016. Charges were dismissed against Belleville pharmacist Vincent Cozzarelli after his death in April 2014.

The indictment remains pending against three other conspirators. The charges and allegations in the indictment against them are merely accusations, and they remain innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the DEA’s New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara F. Merin of the OCDETF/Narcotics Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.  This case was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

Defense counsel: Jef Henninger Esq., Tinton Falls, N.J

Topic(s): 
Prescription Drugs
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
16-158
Updated June 2, 2016