California Man Arrested for Conspiring to Distribute Narcotics in New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A California man has been charged with conspiring to distribute approximately 114 kilograms of cocaine in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Federal officials say, Mr. Angel Alfonso Maldonado, 25, of Long Beach, California, is charged by complaint with one count of conspiring to distribute and possessing with intent to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine.

He appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court and was detained.

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

Law enforcement officers in the area of Clinton Township, observed a tractor-trailer pull off I-78 onto the shoulder of the highway. Officials say, Maldonado, who is the owner of the tractor-trailer, appeared nervous when law enforcement approached.

A certified narcotics detection canine screened the outside of the tractor-trailer. It alerted police of the presence of narcotics on the side of the cabin of the tractor-trailer, as well as inside the cabin.

Law enforcement subsequently searched the cabin and found two hidden compartments. Each secret compartment contained approximately 57 kilograms of suspected narcotics. The about 114 kilograms were plastic-wrapped, consistent with narcotics packaging.

Law enforcement field-tested some of the kilograms, which tested positive for the presence of cocaine, according to officials.

The count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison, and a $10 million fine.