|TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that three men were sentenced to state prison today on charges stemming from the seizure by the New Jersey State Police of nearly six pounds of methamphetamine in Kearny in 2014.
These men were sentenced today in Hudson County by Superior Court Judge Mitzy Galis-Menendez:
- Juan Guerrero-Estrada, 31, of Olathe, Kansas, was sentenced to 10 years in state prison;
- Juan Flores-Santos, 38, of Kansas City, Kansas, was sentenced to 10 years in state prison; and
- Juan Perez-Nunez, 47, of The Bronx, N.Y., was sentenced to seven years in state prison.
On Jan. 16, 2015, the Division of Criminal Justice obtained a four-count state grand jury indictment charging the three defendants. Perez-Nunez pleaded guilty on Sept. 1 to second-degree conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Guerrero-Estrada and Flores-Santos were convicted at trial on Dec. 8 of first-degree distribution of methamphetamine, first-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, second-degree conspiracy, and third-degree possession of methamphetamine.
Deputy Attorneys General Shontae Gray and Frank Morano tried Guerrero-Estrada and Flores-Santos and took the guilty plea from Perez-Nunez for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. The charges stem from an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Trafficking North Unit.
“Methamphetamine is a devastating drug that destroys lives and tears families apart,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “With these sentences, we’re putting these major meth dealers behind bars, where they cannot traffic their poison into our communities.”
“The State Police detectives who busted these meth dealers deserve great credit, as do our prosecutors in the Division of Criminal Justice who convicted them and secured these lengthy prison sentences,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “By targeting interstate drug traffickers, we strike at a major supply line through which this dangerous drug enters our communities.”
“These defendants were in the business of peddling death,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Methamphetamine erodes communities and ruins lives. I commend the outstanding work of our troopers in the State Police North Trafficking Unit and all of our partners who worked diligently to ensure a prison sentence for these dealers.”
The defendants were arrested on Oct. 22, 2014, when the New York man met the two men from Kansas in the parking lot of a Walmart in Kearny. Members of the New Jersey State Police Trafficking North Unit were conducting surveillance at the site when they spotted a Mercedes Benz with a Kansas license plate occupied by Guerrero-Estrada and Flores-Santos that was parked in a remote area of the parking lot. Later, the Mercedes slowly circled the parking lot and parked in a new location, where Perez-Nunez arrived driving a Honda Civic. The drivers spoke outside their cars, with the trunk of the Mercedes open, and Perez-Nunez repositioned the Honda, after which he allegedly pulled the Honda alongside the passenger side of the Mercedes. At that point, a red-and-white plastic bag allegedly was tossed from the Mercedes into the rear window of the Honda. As both cars departed, they were stopped by state troopers. Perez-Nunez consented to a search of the Honda, where troopers found a red-and-white plastic bag containing nearly six pounds of crystal methamphetamine. The three men were then arrested.
Acting Attorney General Hoffman commended the members of the New Jersey State Police Trafficking North Unit for their investigation.