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Press Release

Illinois Man Admits Conspiring To Distribute Cocaine And Heroin

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

NEWARK, N.J. – An Illinois man today admitted conspiring to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 500 grams or more of cocaine, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Jesus Henoc Castaneda Soberanis, 25, of Chicago, Illinois, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 500 grams or more of cocaine.

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

On June 6, 2019, Soberanis conspired with others to distribute narcotics, agreeing to pay a conspirator approximately $1,000 to drive Soberanis, together with approximately one kilogram of cocaine and approximately two kilograms of heroin, from Illinois to the East Coast. The investigation revealed that Soberanis would have distributed at least one of these kilograms of narcotics in New Jersey, were the narcotics not interdicted by law enforcement.

The count to which Soberanis pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine of up to $10 million. Sentencing is scheduled for May 20, 2020.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan in New York, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The arrest was the result of an investigation by the New York Strike Force, a crime-fighting unit comprising federal, state and local law enforcement agencies supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

The Strike Force is housed at the DEA’s New York Division and includes agents and officers of the DEA; the New York City Police Department; the New York State Police; Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations; the U. S. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; U.S. Secret Service; the U.S. Marshals Service; New York National Guard; the Clarkstown Police Department; U.S. Coast Guard; Port Washington Police Department; and New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francesca Liquori of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force/Narcotics Unit in Newark.

Defense counsel: Genesis Peduto Esq., North Bergen, New Jersey

Updated February 3, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 20-048