By: Yuritza Arroyo
Federal authorities announced an Egg Harbor Township man today admitted his role in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
According to Federal officials, Lester Santana, 52, of Egg Harbor Township, pleaded guilty in Camden federal court 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.
Santana and his conspirators purchased multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from wholesale drug suppliers in the San Juan area in exchange for cash payments.
According to court documents, 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 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.
Authorities say Santana admitted that he was jointly responsible for the possession with intent to distribute and distribute 50 to 150 kilograms of cocaine.
According to federal officials, the drug-trafficking conspiracy charge carries a mandatory penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum penalty of life in prison, and a maximum fine of $10 million. Sentencing is scheduled for May 18.
Two conspirators in this case, Jose Gonzalez and Iran Soler, both previously pleaded guilty before Judge O’Hearn to conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.
Gonzalez is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 30, and Soler is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 6.