PROSPECT PARK, N.J. – A Prospect Park man led a ring of conspirators – two of them Mexican nationals – caught trying to traffic more than 33 pounds of cocaine to New Jersey from California, federal authorities said.
Luis Tomas Alba Urena, 53, who was arrested with the others in California, was ordered detained without bail by a federal judge in Newark on Wednesday, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick said.
He identified the others as: Froylan “Froilan Gill” Gil Palomares, 39, and Javier Armando Cortes Quintal, 48, both Mexican nationals; Efrain “Ifrain Alcaras” Cardenas, 39, of Sunnyside, Washington and Sergio Kevin Calvio, 28, of Fontana, California.
All were indicted on charges of conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilos of cocaine.
FBI agents investigating the case monitored communications from Aug. 31, 2016 through Feb. 8, then seized a kilo of cocaine that Alba sold to an unidentified participant in California last September, Fitzpatrick said Wednesday.
Alba, Quintal and that person “later negotiated the sale of kilograms of cocaine that the individual would transport to New Jersey,” the U.S. attorney said.
“After agreeing to the details of the cocaine delivery, Alba and the individual traveled from New Jersey to California to conduct the transaction,” Fitzpatrick said.
As agents watched, the group of five met with the unnamed individual in the parking lot of a Burbank business on Feb. 8, 2017, the U.S. attorney said.
California. Cardenas Alcaras and Calvio “directed the individual to the interior of a Jeep to inspect the drug shipment,” Fitzpatrick said.
“Once the presence of cocaine in the Jeep was confirmed, law enforcement [agents] arrested the defendants and seized 15 kilograms of cocaine from the scene, along with a .380-caliber pistol,” he said.
Fitzpatrick praised the FBI for assembling the case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Wangenheim of his Criminal Division in Newark.
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