Police & Fire

How This Week’s 8-Kilogram Cocaine Bust Allegedly Went Down

Stock photo Credits: ICE/HSI

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — The seeds for the alleged drug bust that has alarmed some city residents were planted earlier this month, when cops learned that a man named Yunior Martinez-Jimenez was allegedly selling large amounts of cocaine in New Brunswick, according to a criminal complaint.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations division arrested three people on June 27, in a move that worried some undocumented immigrants and activists, who were concerned that ICE had come to the city to kickstart deportations. It drew a crowd on Tuesday outside 302 Redmond St., as officers from various agencies—including city police and Middlesex County—searched the home.

But what few outside law enforcement knew at that time was that six kilograms of cocaine were allegedly inside one of the house’s bedrooms, according to a criminal complaint.

Sign Up for E-News

After Martinez-Jimenez landed on police radar, law enforcement on June 15 “lawfully recorded” the Somerset resident allegedly offering to sell another individual several kilos of coke, according to the complaint.

The deal—for two kilograms—was set to go through less than two weeks later, on June 27, cops alleged. Martinez-Jimenez allegedly agreed to meet the buyer and another individual somewhere on Remsen Avenue in New Brunswick. Martinez-Jimenez drove there around 1:30 p.m. alongside Indhira de los Santos Padilla, a city resident, police alleged.

When they arrived, Martinez-Jimenez allegedly asked the buyer to follow him elsewhere, but the customer refused, police said.

So Martinez-Jimenez and de los Santos Padilla allegedly drove to Redmond Street alone. All the while, according to the complaint, they were being tailed by a “law enforcement aerial unit,” which monitored their every move.

When the pair got to Redmond Street, Palemon Silvestre Sierra allegedly came outside his New Brunswick home, took an empty bag from the car and returned inside, police said. After no more than five minutes, he allegedly emerged with a bag that police claimed “now appeared weighted,” and handed it to Martinez-Jimenez and de los Santos Padilla, who were in the car.

They drove back to Remsen Avenue to meet their buyer, police alleged.

Martinez-Jimenez parked the car, and de los Santos Padilla got out and walked over to the buyer and his partner, the complaint alleged. De los Santos Padilla allegedly handed the bag through the passenger window.

That’s when police jumped into action. Officers converged on each vehicle, quickly arresting de los Santos Padilla, according to the complaint. Martinez-Jimenez, who allegedly tried to drive away, “was apprehend a short distance away,” police claimed.

Cops opened the bag and found what looked like two kilograms of cocaine, they claimed. They conducted a field test on the substance, which confirmed as much, according to the complaint.

After being read his Miranda rights, Martinez-Jimenez allegedly admitted to copping the cocaine from the Redmond Street house earlier that day and on other occasions, the complaint alleged. Afterward, he would run the money back over to the place, police alleged.

So the investigating agents directed him to return the supposed drug proceeds to Sierra, as if nothing had happened, the complaint alleged. An undercover officer accompanied Martinez-Jimenez, according to police.

After the alleged cash delivery, cops arrested Sierra and executed a search warrant on his home, according to the complaint. They allegedly found six kilos of blow in his bedroom, which also passed the field drug test, according to police.

Sierra later admitted to possessing the coke in his bedroom, the complaint alleges.

Federal and local law enforcement officers seized an alleged total of eight kilograms of cocaine in the bust.

They arrested Martinez-Jimenez, de los Santos Padilla and Sierra, who were each charged with one count of conspiring to distribute five or more kilos of the white stuff. The charge, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, carries a minimum of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine.

The three appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion yesterday, June 28, in federal court in Newark.

U.S. Attorney Tazneen Shahbuddin will represent the government in the case. Brian Michael, a special agent in charge with Homeland Security Investigations, was credited with the bust.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - March 16, 2018


ON THE RAILS - Another commuting mess this morning, as the antiquated Portal Bridge got stuck in the "up" position at 4:22 a.m.  That caused a bunch of rush hour trains to be cancelled between Newark and Manhattan for four hours or so.  Both NJTransit and Amtrak riders were completely screwed. You may recall the proposed Gateway ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 15, 2018


NEW BRUNSWICK - When you rent out apartments to Rutgers students, expect some surprises. But one landlord received a shocker beyond expectation: a $8,117.07 water bill for the last three months of 2017, TAPInto New Brunswick reports. The landlord went to the City Council meeting this week, pleading that the bill on his Comstock Street ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 14, 2018


TRENTON - Ever since we met Gov. Phil Murphy, he has been talking about the same stuff: higher taxes for the rich, saving NJ Transit, legalizing marijuana, giving more money to public schools and a higher minimum wage. So, when lawmakers went to Trenton yesterday to hear the rookie governor's first budget message, there weren't a lot of ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 13, 2018


TRENTON - As Gov. Phil Murphy prepares to deliver his first budget address at 2 p.m. today, at the State House, observers will be curious if his proposals jive with the state's pension mess. Look for the governor to talk about campaign topics like equal pay, health care, climate change, immigration and offshore drilling, as well as the proposed ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 12, 2018


NEW BRUNSWICK - If you want to succeed in New Jersey, you need to figure out, to some degree, what all these millennials are thinking.  New Jersey Future tried to get to the answer, during a recent day-long event in New Brunswick that NJ Spotlight covered.  Bottom line? Our millennials are fleeing and that is bad. We need them to buy ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 9, 2018


ON THE RAILS - Not only is President Trump against the Gateway Tunnel, it seems he is ready to shut down the entire federal government if any money is budgeted for the desperately-needed infrastructure project. The word from Washington is that Trump is ready to scorch the Earth if Gateway gets just one sawbuck from Uncle Sam. Of course, this dispels all ...

Rutgers Student on Front Lines of Orangutan Conservation, Research

March 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Deep in a tropical forest in Borneo 15 years ago, Rutgers student Didik Prasetyo first encountered a young male orangutan that he named “Jerry.”

The great ape was one of several orangutans that Prasetyo and other researchers followed at the Tuanan Orangutan Research Station in the Mawas Conservation Area in Indonesia. Prasetyo was skeptical when colleagues said ...

RU police investigate assault on Douglass campus

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University police are investigating an aggravated assault and attempted sexual assault  reported to March 14 at 3:55 a.m. in front of Hickman Hall on the Douglass campus.


The victim, not affiliated with Rutgers University, reported that she was walking with a male whom she did not know in the area of Commercial Avenue and George ...

Rutgers voices support for proposed state budget

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University officials have often been wary of the governor's annual budget message, wondering what type of budget cuts the university may sustain and how it would potentially impact tuition and the overall quality of education.

This budget message, delivered March 13, appears to be a sigh of relief.

Pete McDonough, Vice President of External Affairs at ...

Latino, Caribbean, Hip Hop, Jazz music, even Yoga and skating, celebrated in city

March 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK – Music, cultures and lifestyles will be celebrated in the city all year, with festivals and special events scheduled for weekends from April through October, including the city’s first day to highlight yoga.

City council members this week approved permits for nine events, starting with the traditional Rutgers Day Parade on April 28, which will start on Senior Place ...


This National Literacy Month, Let's Rein In Screen Time

March 13, 2018

Dear Editor: As speech-language pathologists across New Jersey prepare to mark “National March into Literacy Month,” let’s address the alarming number of young children who spend countless hours a day on a handheld screen.

According to a study from the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, the more time that children under two years spend on smartphones, tablets and ...

New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters Clinches Gold Certification

March 16, 2018

NEWARK - The National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) is proud to announce that the New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters has once again received Gold Certification – awarded to the strongest chapters in the nation.

NJAHU achieved Gold Certification from national headquarters underscoring how well the organization has operated and achieved its lofty goals in the ...