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Press Release

Two Bergen County, New Jersey, Men and a New York Man Admit Roles in Cross-Country Drug Distribution Scheme

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

NEWARK, N.J. – Two Bergen County, New Jersey, men and a New York man today admitted their roles in a scheme to transport more than 20 kilograms of cocaine from California to New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Melvin Feliz, 48, of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey; Irving Olivero-Pena, 42, of Edgewater, New Jersey; and Robert Crawford, 39, of Long Island City, New York; each pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to Count One of an indictment charging them with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Feliz, Olivero-Pena, and Crawford were arrested on March 11, 2014.

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

Feliz, Olivero-Pena and Crawford 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.

The conspiracy charge to which Feliz, Olivero-Pena and Crawford pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. Sentencing for all three defendants is scheduled for May 6, 2015.

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 Acting Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, New Jersey, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty pleas.

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:

Melvin Feliz: Patrick Joyce Esq., New York
Irving Olivero-Pena: David Touger Esq., New York
Robert Crawford: Rubin Sinins Esq., Springfield, New Jersey

Updated September 11, 2015