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October 14, 09

NEWS / Newark Man Indicted on First-Degree Cocaine Charge

TRENTON - Attorney General Anne Milgram announced that a Newark man was indicted today by a state grand jury for allegedly possessing approximately a kilogram of cocaine that he intended to sell.

According to Criminal Justice Director Deborah L. Gramiccioni, Eddy Ortiz, 36, of Newark, was charged in a four-count indictment with first-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, second-degree conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and third-degree possession of cocaine. The first-degree charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in state prison and a $500,000 fine.

The charges resulted from an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. Ortiz and a co-defendant, Cesar Pena, were arrested on March 3, 2009 in Penaís car, which was parked at a location in Elizabeth where the two men met a third person, not named in the indictment, to whom they allegedly intended to sell a kilogram of cocaine. Detectives from the Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau searched the car and found approximately a kilogram of cocaine in a hidden compartment, along with smaller amounts of crack cocaine and $300 in cash.

Pena, 27, of New York City, pleaded guilty on July 27 to an accusation charging him with first-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and second-degree conspiracy before Superior Court Judge Thomas V. Manahan in Morris County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Pena be sentenced to 10 years in state prison, with 28 months of parole ineligibility.

Deputy Attorney General Erin Callahan presented the case to the state grand jury. The investigation was conducted by Detective Miguel Rodriguez and Detective Louis Renshaw of the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.

The second-degree charge against Ortiz carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine, while the third-degree charge carries a sentence of up to five years and a $15,000 fine. The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.




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