RIDGEFIELD PARK, NJ (Bergen County) – Two Massachusetts men were arrested Monday and charged in connection with the seizure of 18 kilograms of cocaine and more than $119,000 in alleged drug proceeds, according to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.
Carlos Suarez, 44, of Boston, and Erasmo Colon-Rodriguez, 38, of Lawrence were arrested by the New Jersey State Police and charged with first-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, second-degree money laundering, second-degree conspiracy, and third-degree possession of cocaine, Grewal said.
On Nov. 11, at around 4:45 p.m., members of the New Jersey State Police Trafficking North Unit assigned to the Opioid Enforcement Task Force spotted a Nissan Rogue traveling on Route 46 in Ridgefield Park that was suspected to be involved in narcotics trafficking, Grewal said.
State Police initiated a motor vehicle stop and obtained consent to search the vehicle, in which they found roughly $44,000 in U.S. currency in two hidden compartments installed in the vehicle and the two men were arrested, Grewal said.
A search warrant was then executed at a hotel room in South Hackensack where the two men were staying. Police seized approximately 18 kilograms of cocaine, $75,562 in U.S. currency, a money counting machine, and money packaging materials, Grewal said.
The New Jersey State Police K-9 Unit, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force, and South Hackensack Police Department also assisted in the investigation, Grewal said.
The first-degree drug charge carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $500,000. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000, or for the money laundering charge, an enhanced fine of up to $500,000 and an additional anti-money laundering profiteering penalty of up to three times the amount laundered. The third-degree drug charge carries a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $35,000, Grewal said.