Alleged Heroin Dealer Evades State Police and DEA Agents by Fleeing into Meadowlands Wetlands
By Travis Tormey posted in Drug Charges on Saturday, July 27, 2013
According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Jose Manuel Santiago Lopez and Anel Zapata Delcarme received a “square-shaped package” from an unnamed individual in the Bronx before getting into a cab and heading to New Jersey.
Prior to the incident, DEA officers had received information that the two (2) men would be involved in a drug transaction. Officers followed Mr. Lopez and Mr. Delcarme to the Vince Lombardi Service Area off of the New Jersey Turnpike. At the service area, officers observed the men approaching a cab. According to the criminal complaint, a green package was visible in the backseat of the cab.
When state police officers and DEA agents moved in on the two (2) men, Mr. Lopez quickly fled from the car into the nearby wetlands and marshes of the Meadowlands. Initially, officers chased Mr. Lopez into the marshland, but they eventually discontinued their chase due to safety concerns.
Police officers seized the green package from the car. The package was later determined to contain approximately one (1) kilogram of heroin.
Mr. Delcarme was arrested and charged with heroin possession and heroin distribution.
Mr. Delcarme will be charged in federal court and will likely face serious prison time. Had he been charged in the Bergen County NJ Superior Court, Mr. Delcarme could have faced up to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison. The criminal charge for distribution of heroin in New Jersey is set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. The penalties for heroin distribution vary, depending on the amount of heroin. Here, Mr. Delcarme is accused of possessing one (1) kilogram of heroin, which is much more than the five (5) ounces needed for prosecutors to bring first degree heroin distribution charges.
Shortly after being arrested, Mr. Delcarme made his first appearance at federal court in Newark. Authorities are still looking for Mr. Lopez.
For more information, see the NJ.com article entitled “Alleged Drug Dealer Still At Large After Fleeing DEA Agents into Meadowlands Marshes.“