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Justice News

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

Monday, March 5, 2018

Hudson County Man Charged with Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy Operating in Jersey City

NEWARK, N.J. – A Jersey City, New Jersey, man was charged today with conspiracy to distribute cocaine after law enforcement conducted a wiretap of his phone and found 2.5 kilograms of cocaine in his apartment, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Rayfeal Roman, 34, is charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. He was arrested on state charges last month and remains in custody; he will have his initial appearance on the federal charges later this week before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark federal court. 

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

Since September 2017, law enforcement officers in New Jersey have been investigating a large drug distribution network involving Roman and others. The investigation included lawfully intercepted communications, as well as physical surveillance, a comprehensive review of records, and other investigative methods.

Law enforcement officers obtained a court order to intercept wire and electronic communications occurring over the cellular telephone used by Roman. Law enforcement officers intercepted numerous telephone conversations in which Roman others discussed the distribution of cocaine.

On Feb. 6-7, 2018, law enforcement officers intercepted communications between Roman and a conspirator regarding the sale of one kilogram of cocaine. The conspirator wanted to obtain the cocaine from Roman for $29,500, and that the conspirator would, in turn, be providing the cocaine to another unnamed individual. Roman directed the conspirator to go to Roman’s apartment in Jersey City in order to obtain the cocaine.

Law enforcement officers obtained and executed a search warrant for Roman’s apartment in Jersey City. They found approximately 2.5 kilograms of cocaine, approximately $30,000 in cash, and various other materials commonly used in connection with drug distribution, such as an electronic money-counting machine, a digital scale, and drug-packaging materials.

The cocaine distribution conspiracy charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years in prison, and a $2 million fine. 

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office under the leadership of Prosecutor Esther Suarez, and special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Valerie A. Nickerson, with the investigation leading to the charge.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan W. Romankow of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Violent Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charge and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
Updated March 5, 2018