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Atlantic County Man Sentenced for Distributing Cocaine

New Jersey



By: Yuritza Arroyo

An Atlantic County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 60 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

According to federal officials, Lester Santana, 53, of Egg Harbor Township, previously pleaded guilty before to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

Officials say Santana admitted that on numerous occasions from March 2019 to August 2020, he and his conspirators flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico, on commercial flights from Philadelphia International Airport.

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

Santana and his conspirators purchased multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from wholesale drug suppliers based in the San Juan area in exchange for cash payments.

Court documents state Santana and the other conspirators then shipped the kilograms of cocaine by overnight delivery from U.S. Post Offices in San Juan to various addresses in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, including to Santana’s residence.

After the cocaine shipments were delivered, a conspirator resold the cocaine to other drug dealers in the Philadelphia area for a profit.

Santana admitted that he was jointly responsible for the possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 to 150 kilograms of cocaine.

Two conspirators in this case, Jose Gonzalez and Iran Soler, both previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.  

Gonzalez is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 4, 2024, and Soler is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 6, 2023