Public Notices and Press Releases

Man Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Distribution Charges in NJ

Jose Luis Pineda Torres Admits to Intent to Distribute Over 6 Kilograms of Fentanyl

NEWARK, N.J. – In a major crackdown on drug distribution, Jose Luis Pineda Torres, 48, from Monroe, Washington, has pleaded guilty to possessing a significant quantity of fentanyl with the intention of distributing it, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced. The plea was entered before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court on May 20, 2024.

The charge stems from an incident on February 15, 2023, when Pineda Torres was observed at a Secaucus, New Jersey, warehouse receiving several boxes that were later found to contain over 20,000 fentanyl-laced pills and additional quantities of powder, totaling more than 6 kilograms of the synthetic opioid.

This guilty plea highlights the ongoing efforts to combat the opioid crisis in the United States, particularly the spread of fentanyl, which is known for its extreme potency and potential for fatal overdoses. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), led by Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Ortiz, was pivotal in the investigation that led to Torres's arrest and subsequent guilty plea.

Torres faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million for his role in the distribution chain. His sentencing is scheduled for October 29, 2024.

The prosecution for this case is led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordann R. Conaboy, who is part of the U.S. Attorney’s Opioid Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Unit. This unit is dedicated to stemming the tide of opioid-related crimes through rigorous enforcement and prosecution of offenders.

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