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Justice News

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New York Man Admits Role In Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy

NEWARK, N.J. – A New York man today admitted his role in a conspiracy to traffic approximately two kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico to New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Ramis Esteves, 33, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Claire C. Cecchi to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to distribute cocaine. 

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

Esteves was arrested on March 24, 2015 in Bergen County after he accepted delivery of approximately two kilograms of cocaine which had been sent by mail from Puerto Rico. Esteves admitted today that he conspired with a co-defendant, Sasha Melendez, 37, of Bergenfield, New Jersey, to distribute the cocaine.

The conspiracy charge to which Esteves pleaded guilty today carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 29, 2016. 

Melendez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine on June 22, 2016 and awaits sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Cynthia L. Shoffner, and special agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski, with the investigation. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan M. Peck of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit.

Defense Counsel: Paul Brenner, Esq.

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
Updated July 20, 2016