Paterson, N.J. - Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that the top member of a heroin ring that supplied large quantities of heroin in Paterson pleaded guilty today to a first-degree charge of operating a heroin mill, and four co-defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy and drug charges. The defendants were charged in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police.
Marino Pimentel-Tejada, 35, of Paterson, N.J., pleaded guilty today to a first-degree charge of maintaining a heroin production facility before Superior Court Judge Marilyn C. Clark in Passaic County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that he be sentenced to 10 years in prison, including 39 months of parole ineligibility. In addition, each of the following defendants pleaded guilty today before Judge Clark to second-degree conspiracy to maintain a heroin production facility:
- Yinsys Pimentel-Tejada, 28, of Paterson,
- Manuel Garcia-Tejada, 31, of Paterson, and
- Nuris Dominguez-Lara, 34, of Paterson.
The state will recommend that each of those three defendants be sentenced to seven years in state prison. Deputy Attorney General Brandy Malfitano prosecuted the defendants and took the guilty pleas for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. The defendants were indicted in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Trafficking North Bureau targeting the distribution of large quantities of heroin in the Paterson area by a ring controlled by Marino Pimentel-Tejada.
Judge Clark scheduled sentencing for those four defendants for April 13. A fifth defendant, Robert Grady, 40, of Paterson, pleaded guilty today to third-degree possession of methamphetamine and faces a recommended sentence of five years in state prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 10.
“By putting these large-scale suppliers in prison and dismantling their heroin mill, the State Police cut off a major source of heroin in the region and undoubtedly saved lives,” said Attorney General Porrino. “My office will continue to aggressively prosecute anyone who profits through selling this agent of addiction and death into our communities.”
“Paterson is a regional hub for heroin distribution and these were major suppliers we took out of commission,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We’ll continue to work with the New Jersey State Police and other law enforcement partners to disrupt this deadly commerce.”
“All too often, these mills are not only responsible for manufacturing the poison that is heroin, but they are responsible for the violence that goes hand-in hand with drug trafficking,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We will continue to shut these mills down, arrest those responsible, and work with our partners to ensure successful prosecution.”
Detectives initially charged Marino Pimentel-Tejada on June 1, 2016, when they arrested him in a vehicle with Grady with 135 bricks of heroin on 28th Street in Paterson. Each brick consists of approximately 50 single-dose glassines of heroin. Grady also was in possession of several methamphetamine pills. The State Police subsequently executed search warrants for the residence of Marino Pimentel-Tejada in the 1100 block of East 24th Street in Paterson as well as his vehicle. Detectives discovered a heroin milling operation inside his home, including a table overflowing with glassines containing heroin, as well as numerous boxes containing empty glassines. Detectives seized approximately 79 grams of raw heroin, 3,791 glassines of heroin, grinders, sifters, a digital scale, empty glassines, and other packaging materials. In Marino’s car, detectives found more than $20,000 in cash, as well as a handgun and a shotgun contained inside a concealed hydraulic compartment. In total, the State Police seized more than 300 grams of heroin and more than $55,000 in cash in the investigation.
Attorney General Porrino commended Deputy Attorney General Malfitano and the detectives who conducted the investigation for the New Jersey State Police Trafficking North Bureau.