NEWARK, NJ (Essex County) – A Peruvian woman Thursday admitted smuggling approximately seven kilograms of cocaine into the United States from Peru, according to acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig.
Yolanda Fonseca Melgarejo, 59, a legal permanent resident of the United States and a citizen of Peru, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to an information charging her with one count of importation of controlled substances.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Fonseca Melgarejo arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport aboard a flight from Lima, Peru, on March 31, 2019. Law enforcement officers discovered that Fonseca Melgarejo possessed approximately seven kilograms of cocaine concealed within wrapped chocolate candy in her luggage.
The count to which Fonseca Melgarejo pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a potential maximum penalty of life in prison, and a maximum fine of $10 million dollars.
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 14, 2021.