– Attorney General Anne Milgram and
Criminal Justice Director Deborah L. Gramiccioni
announced that a Bronx, N.Y., man has pleaded
guilty to first-degree charges for operating
a major heroin mill in Jersey City.
defendant was among five men arrested in August
2007 when the New Jersey State Police, the
Division of Criminal Justice and members of
the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration High-Intensity
Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force executed
a search warrant and discovered the heroin
mill in an apartment on Clinton Avenue in
to Director Gramiccioni, Joseph Agramonte,
34, of the Bronx, N.Y., pleaded guilty yesterday
to first-degree charges of maintaining a heroin
production facility and possession of heroin
with intent to distribute before Superior
Court Judge Melvin S. Kracov in Hudson County.
The charges were contained in a state grand
jury indictment obtained by the Division of
Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime
Bureau on Dec. 18, 2007.
the plea agreement, the state will recommend
that Agramonte be sentenced to 14 years in
state prison, including seven years without
possibility of parole. His sentencing is scheduled
for April 24.
Attorney General Philip Mogavero is handling
the case for the Division of Criminal Justice
Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau and took
the guilty plea. Agramonte was in charge of
the heroin mill. Four other defendants, all
from the Bronx, N.Y., previously pleaded guilty
to assisting him in the operation.
Oct. 31, 2008, Rafael Richiez, 28, Lenin Torres,
24, and Pedro Torres, 22, were each sentenced
to 10 years in state prison with four years
of parole ineligibility by Judge Kracov. Each
man pleaded guilty to first-degree possession
of heroin with intent to distribute and second-degree
conspiracy. Rudy Torres, 35, pleaded guilty
on Feb. 26 to those same charges. He also
will face 10 years in state prison, four without
parole, when he is sentenced on April 9.
and federal agents seized more than three
pounds of heroin and $9,488 in cash when they
raided the heroin mill on August 2, 2007.
Prior to the raid, Richiez and Lenin Torres
were arrested when they left the apartment
building on Clinton Avenue and started to
drive away in a stolen Range Rover. Pedro
Torres left the apartment soon after, along
with Agramonte and Rudy Torres. They also
were detained and ultimately arrested.
Further investigation revealed that an active
heroin mill was being operated in the apartment
building. A search warrant was executed and
detectives found a large-scale heroin mill
in the third-floor apartment capable of putting
out many thousands of individual doses of
heroin, known as “decks,” from
the raw heroin on hand. Two grinding stations
were set up, with cutting agents, boxes of
empty plastic bags and thousands of packaged
decks stamped "DOA."
General Milgram credited all of the detectives
and agents that conducted the investigation
for the New Jersey State Police Drug Trafficking
North Unit and Organized Crime Control Bureau
- North; the Division of Criminal Justice
Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau; and the
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration HIDTA