Paterson Men Charged in Seizure of Over 20 Kilos of Cocaine

Two Passaic County men are charged in connection with the seizure of more than 20 kilograms of cocaine, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Officials say Carlos Nieves, 24, and Yocadis Montas-Cepeda, 24, both of Paterson, were arrested in Bergen County, New Jersey, on Nov. 19, 2018. They are charged by complaint with one count each of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. Nieves is scheduled to appear later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court. Montas-Cepeda is expected to make his initial appearance at a later date.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: Nieves was driving a car that was the subject of a motor vehicle stop on Interstate 80. Montas-Cepeda was a passenger in the car. The defendants’ statements and other suspicious activities caused law enforcement to believe that the vehicle was being used to traffic narcotics.

Police say after receiving consent to search the vehicle, law enforcement officers recovered approximately 20 kilograms of cocaine from the interior.

The count of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison, and a maximum fine of $10 million.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.