Sixteen Individuals Charged for Their Roles in Drug Trafficking Organization

NEWARK, N.J. – Nine people have been arrested for their alleged roles in a drug trafficking organization that distributed fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine in Newark, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Jaquan Beard, 25, Joseph Feliciano, 40, Carlos Lopez, 50, George Lopez, 49, Tyree Malone, 36, and David Quinones, 29, all of Newark; Wilberto Cotto, 41, Reinaldo Cruz, 44, Steven Garcia, 48, Adolphus Hunter, 48, Jermaine Jones, 37, and Nelson Valentin, 37, all of Elizabeth, New Jersey; Joel Hernandez, 28, of Parlin, New Jersey; Jonathan Arce, 36, of Belleville, New Jersey; and Jose Correa, 53, of Yardley, Pennsylvania, are each charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl, and heroin. George Lopez is also charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine, one count of possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and one count of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Reynaldo Cruz, 27, of Elizabeth, is charged by complaint with one count of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and one count of conspiracy to use and carry a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. 

Reynaldo Cruz and Quinones are scheduled to appear today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre in Newark federal court. Arce, Cotto, Reinaldo Cruz, Feliciano, Hernandez, Hunter, and Carlos Lopez appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court on May 16, 2024, and were detained. Jones, George Lopez, and Valentin are detained on state charges. Beard, Correa, Garcia, and Malone are at large.

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

Reinaldo Cruz, Feliciano, Hernandez, and Quinones distributed controlled substances on behalf of the drug trafficking organization (DTO) in and around Essex and Union counties, New Jersey, from several specific distribution locations. Beard, Correa, Cotto, Garcia, Hunter, Jones, Carlos Lopez, Malone, and Valentin, in turn, received controlled substances, often from one of these locations, and distributed them on behalf of the DTO. Arce served as a source of supply of controlled substances for the DTO. The investigation has also revealed that George Lopez provided advice and connections regarding sources of supply of controlled substances from jail while he received cash from the DTO. Many of the defendants are members and associates of the Latin Kings street gang, and some members are known to possess firearms in connection with the DTO’s activities. The investigation has revealed that the DTO distributed in excess of 50 grams of methamphetamine, 5 kilograms of cocaine, 40 grams of fentanyl, and 100 grams of heroin.

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