New Jersey

Cutting off the Supply: Dealer Pleads Guilty to Distributing Heroin in Pill Form

NEWARK, N.J. – A Passaic County, New Jersey, man today admitted distributing thousands of pills containing heroin in New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Juan Vidal, 33, of Paterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, more than 100 grams of substances containing heroin.

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

At his residence, Vidal manufactured pills containing heroin that were made to resemble Percocet pills. He used a press to make the pills, and he another individual, Karen Rojas, sold the pills for approximately $5 per pill. Between February 2018 and April 2018, Vidal manufactured, and Rojas sold, thousands of pills.

On April 18, 2018, for example, in a recorded transaction, Rojas was asked by a cooperating witness for 100-150 heroin pills. Rojas sold the cooperating witness 40 heroin pills for approximately $200, and Rojas indicated that Vidal needed to “get supplies,” meaning purchase more heroin, in order to make additional pills. Vidal and Rojas were previously charged by criminal complaint in April 2018 with conspiracy to distribute these drugs.

The distribution of narcotics offense carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $5 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18, 2018.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Rojas’ case is pending. The charge and allegations against her are merely accusations, and she remains innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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