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NEWARK, N.J. – A Passaic County, New Jersey, woman and man were sentenced today to federal prison terms for their respective roles in conspiring to distribute thousands of pills containing heroin in New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Karen Rojas, 28, of Paterson, New Jersey, was sentenced today to 21 months in prison; Juan Vidal, 34, of Paterson, was sentenced on Dec. 18, 2018, to 30 months in prison. Both had previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court to informations charging them 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 and 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, Vidal manufactured, and 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.
In addition to the prison terms, Judge Walls sentenced each defendant to four years of supervised release.
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 the sentencings.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.
Rojas: Paul Uhlik Esq., Clifton, New Jersey
Vidal: Frank Sciro Esq., Paterson