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Press Release

Passaic County, New Jersey, Man Convicted in Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

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

NEWARK, N.J. – A Passaic County, New Jersey, man was convicted today on charges that he conspired to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Yasmil Minaya, a/k/a “Animal,” 33, was convicted on both counts of the indictment against him: one count of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Minaya was convicted following a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty in Newark federal court. The jury deliberated one day before returning the guilty verdicts.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

Law enforcement officials learned that Minaya and his co-defendants were serving as New Jersey and New York area distributors for a drug trafficking organization operating in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and elsewhere. The organization’s narcotics were usually transported to this area via truck and were paid for by the defendants before being sold on the street. The drug organization has been linked to several multiple-kilogram seizures of heroin, including a seizure of approximately two kilograms of heroin in March 2015, four kilograms in November 2015, and 10 kilograms in January 2017.

The counts on which Minaya was convicted carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $10 million per count. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 4, 2019.

This case is being 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.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson, and officers with the N.J. State Police, Trafficking North Unit, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to today’s conviction.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Wangenheim of the OCDETF/Narcotics Unit in Newark and U.S. Attorney Carpenito.


Updated May 7, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 19-132