Following a year-long investigation, law enforcement arrested 20 people, dismantling a large-scale narcotics trafficking network spanning Hudson, Essex, Bergen, and Union Counties and New York City.
Officers seized more than 9,400 grams of fentanyl, over 3,400 grams of cocaine, over 1700 grams of methamphetamine, over 800 grams of fentanyl pills, about eight grams of heroin, a loaded gun, and $118,395.
The street value of the drugs is approximately $1 million.
According to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, which was involved in the investigation along with Homeland Security Investigation, the New York Police Department, and other law enforcement partners, the alleged operation’s ring leader was Juan Tejada of Union City who was allegedly a major supplier of cocaine, fentanyl, and heroin in Northern New Jersey.
He and his intricate web of nearly two dozen associates have been charged.
Law enforcement executed search warrants at approximately two dozen locations throughout New Jersey and New York. It also also brought down an alleged fentanyl manufacturer and supplier, Juan Carlos Moreno, who allegedly produced tens of thousands of fentanyl and fentanyl/heroin pills in Washington Heights in New York City.
These drugs were later delivered to the Tejada drug trafficking network and eventually into the hands of individuals in New Jersey, according to the HCPO.
“This was a large-scale, highly-organized narcotics trafficking network that for years had operated in Northern New Jersey and New York City funneling large volumes of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine onto the streets of our communities,” said Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez. “The Tejada brothers used front businesses and counter-surveillance and had built an intricate network they believed was impenetrable by law enforcement, however, this joint agency investigation demonstrates the power and reach of the law in stopping these deadly and destructive narcotics operations.”
Four main alleged co-conspirators of Tejada – his wife, two brothers, and an associate – were arrested, as well as seven alleged couriers and seven main customers who themselves are allegedly mid-level drug dealers.
The narcotics were sold primarily in Union City, North Bergen, West New York, Bayonne, and municipalities in Essex, Bergen, and Union Counties. Tejada allegedly employed the couriers to deliver the narcotics to his customers who then allegedly sold the drugs throughout the region.
“The veneer of seemingly legitimate businesses that include a barbershop and a used car lot gave the Tejada family the appearance of normalcy,” said Special Agent in Charge Jason Molina of Homeland Security Investigations, Newark. “However, the reality was quite different. Behind the family-run businesses was a transnational fentanyl and cocaine trafficking organization. The Tejada brothers and their organization have filled our streets with fentanyl and cocaine. That ends today. HSI and our law enforcement partners work together across the country and the world and bring down organizations like this, no matter how mighty or invisible they may seem.”
“These arrests represent another success in our ongoing work to keep New Yorkers from being victimized by illegal narcotics trafficking,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.”I commend our NYPD officers, as well as all the agents and prosecutors involved, for their sustained efforts in this important case.”
While investigators say more arrests are to be expected, 20 individuals have been charged with narcotics-related offenses.
Charges include Possession and Conspiracy to Manufacture/Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance.
Those who were allegedly at the top of the network face more severe charges.
They include the alleged ring leader, Juana Tejada, 31, aka Ranger of Union City who is charged with two counts of Leader of Narcotics Trafficking Network (one count for cocaine and one count for fentanyl); two counts of Conspiracy to Manufacture/Distribute CDS (one count for cocaine and one count for fentanyl); two counts Possession of CDS (Fentanyl) with the Intent to Distribute; three counts Possession of CDS (cocaine) with the Intent to Distribute; Possession of CDS (heroin) with the Intent to Distribute; and Possession of CDS (fentanyl or its analog) with the Intent to Distribute.
Tejada’s alleged co-conspirators are Union City residents Emanuel Tejada, 24; Jancel Tejada, 30; Manuel Rodriguez, 49, aka “MANOLO;” and Milka Dominguez, 32, aka “RACHEL.”
Emanuel Tejada has been charged with two counts of Conspiracy to Manufacture/Distribute CDS (one count for cocaine and one count for fentanyl); Possession of CDS (cocaine) with the Intent to Distribute; and Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity.
Jancel Tejada has been charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture/Distribute CDS (cocaine); Possession of CDS (cocaine) with the Intent to Distribute; and Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity.
Rodriguez has been charged with two counts of Conspiracy to Manufacture/Distribute CDS (one count for cocaine and one count for fentanyl); Maintaining/Operating a CDS Production Facility; Possession of CDS (heroin) with the Intent to Distribute; Possession of CDS (fentanyl or its analog) with the Intent to Distribute; and Possession of CDS (cocaine) with the Intent to Distribute.
Dominguez has been charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture/Distribute CDS (fentanyl).
Juan Carlos Moreno, aka “SAMUEL,” 43, of Manhattan was the alleged heroin and fentanyl manufacturer and supplier of the drug ring.
He has been charged with Leader of Narcotics Trafficking Network (fentanyl) and Conspiracy to Manufacture/Distribute CDS (fentanyl).
Of the others arrested in connection with the case, eight were from Hudson County, including Bayonne, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, and West New York.
A joint effort
Prosecutor Suarez credited several law enforcement agencies for their role in the investigation and arrests, including the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations – Newark, Homeland Security Investigations – John F. Kennedy Airport, New York City Police Department, US Attorney’s Office – District of New Jersey, US Attorney’s Office – Southern District of New York, Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor in the City of New York, Hudson County Regional SWAT team, Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, Hudson County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, Union City Police Department, Hoboken Police Department, North Bergen Police Department, West New York Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations – New Haven, Office of the Connecticut States Attorney Asonia-Milford Judicial District, and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.
The state has moved to detain Juan Tejada, Enmanuel Tejada, Jancel Tejada, Manuel Rodriguez, and Union City resident Jorge Bisono, 34, who is charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture/Distribute CDS (cocaine) and Possession of CDS cocaine with intent to distribute.
The above charges are merely accusations. Those charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty