Law & Justice

MS-13 Member Admits to Trafficking Narcotics From California Prison to Edison

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NEWARK, NJ - A member of the MS-13 gang admitted Monday to trafficking illegal narcotics from inside a California prison to a business center in Edison.

According to a release from the United States District of New Jersey Attorney's office, Luis Calderon, 32,  of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty in Newark federal court to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine.

The drugs were concealed inside a box of brand-name snack cakes.

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According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

"Between August 2015 and November 2015, Calderon was incarcerated at the Calipatria State Prison in California. However, Calderon had access to multiple contraband cellular telephones, which he used to communicate with conspirators outside the prison.

"Law enforcement officers lawfully-recorded numerous telephone conversations between Calderon and an MS-13 member based in New Jersey, identified in the indictment as “Individual-1.” Among other topics, Calderon and Individual-1 discussed plans to distribute crystal methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine in the New Jersey area. Calderon and Individual-1 ultimately settled on that plan that involved Calderon and others outside the prison sending a package containing controlled substances to a business center in Edison, New Jersey.

"Shortly before the package arrived, Calderon informed Individual-1 by telephone that he was sending Individual-1 a package containing four ounces each of heroin and cocaine. Calderon stated that the package would also likely contain two ounces or more of crystal methamphetamine. Calderon told Individual-1 that the total cost for the heroin, cocaine, and crystal methamphetamine was $9,000, and stated that Individual-1 could keep the proceeds made from selling the drugs once Individual-1 paid Calderon for the shipment. Calderon subsequently gave Individual-1 the names that would appear on the package and the tracking number.

"On Nov. 4, 2015, federal agents lawfully intercepted and searched the package. The search revealed approximately 95.5 grams of heroin, 54.7 grams of cocaine, and 52.4 grams of methamphetamine hidden inside a box of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls."

Calderon faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a $10 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for June 25.

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