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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Puerto Rican Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Conspiring to Distribute over 250 Kilograms of Cocaine

NEWARK, N.J. – A Puerto Rican man was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for conspiring to distribute over 250 kilograms of cocaine, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Mariano Enrique Arroyo Perez, aka “Humilde,” 29, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas to a superseding indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

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

From 2017 through July 2019, Arroyo Perez and his conspirators conspired to distribute approximately 250 kilograms of cocaine. The conspirators sought to bring cocaine into the United States using private planes. Specifically, Arroyo Perez coordinated the use of a private plane to transport approximately 150 kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico to New Jersey on Nov. 18, 2018. Law enforcement officers intercepted that shipment after the pilots became suspicious about four passengers who were not on the flight manifest and had particularly heavy luggage. The luggage contained cocaine, and the passengers were arrested. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Salas sentenced Arroyo Perez to five years of supervised release.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents and task force officers with the Drug Enforcement Administration in New Jersey, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark, as well as special agents and task force officers with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. He also thanked the U.S. Office of International Affairs and the U.S. Marshals Service for their assistance with the case.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Repole, Chief of the General Crimes Unit in Newark and Assistant U.S. Attorney Francesca Liquori, Chief of the OCDETF Unit in Newark.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
22-374
Updated October 11, 2022