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John R. Hagerty, NJSP
(609) 882-2000 x6515

SFC Wendy Galloway, NJSP
(609) 882-2000 x6516


       Totowa, NJ -- New Jersey Attorney General John J. Farmer, Jr. and Colonel Carson J. Dunbar, Jr., Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, today announced the arrest of six individuals on drug-related charges and the seizure of over 850 kilos of suspected cocaine and approximately 1,900 pounds of suspected marijuana. The cocaine has an estimated wholesale value of $20.5 million with a street-level distribution value exceeding $85 million, while the marijuana has a whole sale value of $4 million and is worth more than $15 million on the street.

       "With this one complex case involving excellent investigative work by the New Jersey State Police, we have stopped a significant quantity of illegal drugs from flowing into our neighborhoods," said Attorney General Farmer. "I commend the State Police, the Statewide Narcotics Task Force and the other participating law enforcement agencies for the cooperative effort that led to this seizure and these arrests."

       "The culmination of this investigation represents a concerted effort by the State Police and the assisting law enforcement agencies to interdict illegal drugs before they hit the street," the Superintendent said. "This seizure is extremely significant, having removed $100 million in illegal drugs from the pipeline -- cocaine and marijuana believed to be destined for street-level distribution throughout the New Jersey/New York City area."

       Joining the State Police in announcing the arrests and drug seizure was Prosecutor William H. Schmidt, Bergen County Prosecutor, Chief John Schmidig, Bergen County Police Department, Chief Thomas Tessaro, Fort Lee Police Department and Assistant Attorney General Barry Goas, Director of the Statewide Narcotics Task Force. Working together, the various law enforcement agencies coordinated resources and law enforcement responsibilities as the investigation culminated in a complicated series of surveillance activities, the execution of six court-authorized search and seizure warrants and the arrest and processing of the six defendants.


       The following individuals were arrested on Feb. 6 at various locations in Bergen County:

  •      William Caraballo, 43, 370 Brook Ave., Bronx, NY (arrested at the New Jersey Turnpike Vince Lombardi service area);
  •      Jacqueline Nunez, 35, 225 East 53rd St., New York City, NY (arrested at the New Jersey Turnpike Vince Lombardi service area);
  •      Edgar Gracia, 26, 1138 North Bankerd Ave., Nogales, AZ (arrested at the New Jersey Turnpike Vince Lombardi service area);
  •      Carlos Torres, 32, 1063 Ward Ave., Bronx, NY (arrested on the street in Fairview);
  •      Francisco Reyes, 25, 370 Brook Ave., Bronx, NY (arrested on the street in Fairview);
  •      Anthony Manzanet, 30, 370 Brook Ave., Bronx, NY (arrested at the New Jersey Turnpike Vince Lombardi service area).

       Each individual has been charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance. Additionally, defendants Torres and Reyes have been charged with possession of a weapon. Each of the individuals remains in custody in the Bergen County Jail in lieu of bail.

       According to State Police, the investigation got underway last Friday (Feb. 4) when detectives assigned to the State Police Narcotics & Organized Crime Bureau, Narcotics North Unit, developed information through investigative leads that led them to suspect that the defendants were potentially involved in illegal activities - including the possibility that a large shipment of illegal narcotics might have arrived in the North Jersey area and was being readied for sale to narcotics dealers at both the wholesale and street level.

       The investigation established an around-the-clock undercover surveillance of the suspects as they met at a warehouse/garage facility located at 779 Fairview Ave. in Fairview, traveled to various locations throughout Bergen County and into New York City. Significantly, the undercover surveillance of the warehouse facility revealed a tractor-trailer parked inside. During the ensuing investigation and undercover surveillance, the suspects were observed engaging in activities designed to avoid detection by law enforcement officers.

       On Feb. 6 at approximately 3:00 p.m., detectives observed a second tractor-trailer arrive at the Fairview Ave. warehouse/garage facility where it was met by several of the suspects. The tractor trailer immediately left the warehouse/garage and traveled to the Vince Lombardi Rest Area on the New Jersey Turnpike. A short time later, the tractor-trailer previously observed parked inside the warehouse left and also traveled directly to the Lombardi rest area. At the same time, a late-model, brown and tan Chevrolet Econoline van arrived at the Fairview Ave. location and entered the warehouse/garage facility. Approximately one hour later, the Chevrolet van, which was obviously overloaded with suspicious looking packages clearly visible through the side and rear windows left the warehouse. At this point, State Police detectives intercepted the van and, upon conducting a probable cause search of the vehicle, uncovered the over 850 kilos of suspected cocaine. The driver and passenger of the van, subsequently identified as defendants Torres and Reyes, were arrested. Along with the suspected cocaine, detectives uncovered a 9mm handgun in the vehicle.

       Upon the arrest of the occupants of the van, detectives maintaining the surveillance of the two tractor trailers at the Lombardi Service area moved-in and arrested the individuals who had remained with the vehicles. A court authorized search warrant was obtained to search the tractor trailer vehicles - that search revealed the more than 1,900 pounds of suspected marijuana and $86,464.00 in U.S. currency in one tractor trailer and a large number of pallets loaded with cardboard shipping cartons containing boxed yellow peppers in an advanced state of decomposition. Detectives believe the cargo of fresh peppers was used to conceal the load of illegal cocaine. A further search of both tractor trailers revealed each with a false wall and a hidden compartment allegedly used to hide the illegal drugs.

       The individual bricks of suspected cocaine were packaged in bundles weighing approximately 25 kilos each, encased in shrink wrap and placed inside large plastic bags. The suspected marijuana was packaged in 109 bundles of varying weigh and was ready for street-level distribution

       The Superintendent credited the investigative efforts of the detectives assigned to the Narcotics and Organized Crime Bureau, Narcotics North Unit, Intelligence Bureau and uniformed troopers from Troop "D" and Troop "B" for their around-the-clock work in pursuing the criminal investigation.

       The Division of Criminal Justice and the Statewide Narcotics Task Force assisted State Police detectives in the preparation of search and arrest warrants and will provide continuing legal oversight of the investigation. The investigation will be submitted to a state grand jury.

       The investigation remains ongoing in an effort to determine the source and specific destination of the illegal drug shipment. Additional arrests are possible.

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