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Press Release

Two Passaic County, New Jersey, Men Charged In Seizure Of Over 20 Kilograms Of Cocaine

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

NEWARK, N.J. – Two Passaic County, New Jersey, men are charged in connection with the seizure of more than 20 kilograms of cocaine, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Carlos Nieves, 24, and Yocadis Montas-Cepeda, 24, both of Paterson, New Jersey, were arrested in Bergen County, New Jersey, on Nov. 19, 2018. They are charged by complaint with one count each of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. Nieves is scheduled to appear later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court. Montas-Cepeda is expected to make his initial appearance at a later date.

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

Nieves was driving a car that was the subject of a motor vehicle stop on Interstate 80. Montas-Cepeda was a passenger in the car. The defendants’ statements and other suspicious activities caused law enforcement to believe that the vehicle was being used to traffic narcotics. After receiving consent to search the vehicle, law enforcement officers recovered approximately 20 kilograms of cocaine from the interior.

The count of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison, and a maximum fine of $10 million.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson, New Jersey Division, with the investigation leading to today’s charges. He also thanked the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and that office’s Narcotics Task Force.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan L. O’Neill of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defense counsel:

Nieves: Lauriano Guzman Esq., Bronx, New York
Montas-Cepeda: Victor Molina Esq., Bergenfield, New Jersey

Updated March 7, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 19-056