Union County cocaine dealer sent to prison

A Union County man was sentenced on Friday to 97 months in prison for conspiring to distribute cocaine and laundering narcotics proceeds.

Jose Rivera, Jr., 48, of Union, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before Senior U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig, documents filed in this case and statements made in court Rivera is a leader of a drug-trafficking and money laundering organization.

Law enforcement officers learned that Rivera utilized various locations to conduct narcotics trafficking and money laundering on behalf of the organization, including his residence and a stash location in Union.

On Nov. 6, 2020, law enforcement officers conducted lawful searches of the residence and the stash location and recovered over $1 million in cash, financial paperwork and notations related to narcotics proceeds and transactions.

On Nov. 7, 2020, law enforcement officers conducted a lawful search of Rivera’s vehicle and recovered 191 grams of cocaine in a hidden compartment within the glove box of the vehicle.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesler sentenced Rivera to three years of supervised release.

Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Raymond Donovan in New York; special agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina in Newark; and inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Raimundo Marrero in Newark, with the investigation leading to Friday’s sentencing.

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