Two people have been apprehended and well more than a kilogram of cocaine and a quantity of heroin have been seized as the result of a long-term investigation into the distribution of illegal narcotics in Elizabeth, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park, FBI-Newark Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher, and Elizabeth Police Director James Cosgrove jointly announced Tuesday.
Hansel Aquinoramirez, 31, of South Spring Street in Elizabeth, the primary target of the investigation, and Jose Seijas, 46, of Bond Street in Elizabeth, were both arrested without incident on Friday.
The Prosecutor’s Office’s Guns, Gangs, Drugs, and Violent Crimes Task Force and the FBI’s Newark office launched a joint investigation into Aquinoramirez’s activities starting in August 2016. As the investigation progressed, it became clear that he was involved in the distribution of significant quantities of cocaine and other drugs in the Elizabeth area, investigators said.
A total of 1,320 grams of cocaine and 120 grams of heroin, drugs with an estimated street value of nearly $150,000, were seized as a result. Aquinoramirez was charged with three counts of first-degree distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, two counts of second-degree distribution, eight counts of third-degree distribution, and nine additional drug offenses relating to distributing narcotics within 500 feet of a public park or 1,000 feet of a school zone. Seijas was charged with third-degree possession of cocaine.
Aquinoramirez was lodged in Union County Jail pending a detention hearing. Seijas was released on a summons.
Members of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and the Elizabeth Police Department offered assistance in the form of manpower and resources in this case.
Convictions on first-degree crimes are commonly punishable by terms of 10 to 20 years in state prison.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.