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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Paterson, New Jersey, Woman Admits Distributing Fake Percocet Pills Containing Heroin

NEWARK, N.J. – A Passaic County, New Jersey, woman today admitted conspiring to distribute thousands of pills containing heroin in New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Karen Rojas, 28, of Paterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court to an information charging her with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of substances containing heroin.

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

At their residence in Paterson, Rojas’ boyfriend, Juan Vidal, manufactured pills that were made with heroin and that were made to resemble Percocet pills. Vidal used a press to make the pills and Rojas then sold the pills for approximately $5 dollars per pill. Between February 2018 and April 2018, Rojas sold thousands of pills that were manufactured by Vidal.

On April 18, 2018, for example, in a recorded transaction, Rojas was asked by a cooperating witness for 100-150 heroin pills. Rojas sold the cooperating witness 40 heroin pills, for approximately $200, and Rojas indicated that Vidal needed to “get supplies,” meaning to purchase more heroin, in order to make additional pills.

Rojas and Vidal were previously charged by criminal complaint in April 2018 with conspiracy to distribute these drugs. Vidal entered a guilty plea on Sept. 12, 2018, and he is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 18, 2018.

The distribution of narcotics offense carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years imprisonment, a maximum penalty of 40 years’ imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $5 million. Rojas’ sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 19, 2018.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Defense counsel: Paul Uhlik Esq., Clifton, New Jersey

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
18-312
Updated September 19, 2018