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Justice News

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

Thursday, July 2, 2015

New York Man Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For Cross-Country Drug Distribution Conspiracy

NEWARK, N.J. – A Long Island City, New York, man was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for his role in a scheme to transport more than 20 kilograms of cocaine from California to New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Robert Crawford, 40, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to Count One of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Judge McNulty imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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

Crawford, Melvin Feliz, 48, of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, and Irving Olivero-Pena, 42, of Edgewater, New Jersey admitted that from January 2011 through March 2014, they conspired to purchase narcotics for distribution in New Jersey. On Oct. 22, 2012, they met a courier in Bergen County. They admitted that they gave the courier $549,950 in currency to transport to California via tractor trailer, where it would be used to purchase approximately 20 kilograms of cocaine. Afterwards, the courier would transport the cocaine to New Jersey for distribution. The currency was ultimately seized by law enforcement officers in California.

In addition to the prison term, Judge McNulty sentenced Crawford to serve five of supervised release. Feliz and Olivero-Pena also pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme and await sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Newark Division, under direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski; and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, New Jersey, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian L. Urbano of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Foster of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Special Prosecution’s Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Rubin Sinins Esq., Springfield, New Jersey

Press Release Number: 
Updated July 2, 2015