TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that two Brooklyn, NY men have been indicted on narcotics and money laundering charges for allegedly conspiring to distribute cocaine.
Eddie D. Arias, 37, and Raid Etayiyim, 36, both of Brooklyn, were each charged in a state grand jury indictment yesterday (Feb. 13) with first-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute (cocaine), second-degree conspiracy, third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and third-degree money laundering.
“We remain vigilant to interdict the supply of narcotics in New Jersey,” Attorney General Chiesa said. “The Division of Criminal Justice will continue to partner with the State Police to take these drugs off our streets and lock up major narcotics traffickers.”
"Given the distribution-level quantity of cocaine allegedly possessed by these defendants, they are facing serious prison time if convicted," said Director Stephen J. Taylor of the Division of Criminal Justice. "We will prosecute these cases vigorously to deter drug trafficking."
The state grand jury indictment alleges that on Feb. 25, 2008, the defendants possessed at least five ounces of cocaine with the intent to distribute. As part of an ongoing investigation, the defendants were arrested that day on the New Jersey Turnpike Southbound, Interchange 13 in Elizabeth. Arias consented to a search of the Ford Explorer he was driving, and detectives allegedly found the cocaine in a cardboard box and a blue gym bag. An investigation determined that the defendants allegedly possessed approximately 184 ounces – 5.2 kilograms - of cocaine. That seizure is the basis for the first-degree charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. That charge carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
Deputy Attorney General Philip J. Mogavero from the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau presented the case to the state grand jury. The charges stemmed from an investigation by the New Jersey State Police.
The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000. Third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $15,000.