Monmouth County man sent to prison for 5 years for selling firearms, drugs

A Monmouth County, New Jersey, man was sentenced to 60 months in prison for distributing cocaine in Monmouth County and conspiring to illegally sell firearms, including multiple handguns and a semi-automatic rifle, in and around Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Enrique Quijada, 25, of Freehold, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson to a superseding information charging him with one count of conspiracy to engage in firearms trafficking, one count of possession of a firearm by an alien unlawfully present in the United States, and one count of distribution of cocaine.

Thompson imposed the sentence in Trenton federal court on Thursday, April 14, 2022.

According to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger, documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Manuel Espinosa-Ozoria, Waldin Espinosa-Ozoria, Enrique Quijada, Javier Rodriguez-Valpais, and Jacquelyn DeJesus were members of a gun trafficking conspiracy that spanned from Florida to New Jersey from May 2020 through September 2020.

DeJesus allegedly assisted Manuel Espinosa-Ozoria – the alleged leader of the conspiracy – by acting as a “straw purchaser” of firearms in Florida. Manuel Espinosa-Ozoria and DeJesus then transported the firearms from Florida to Monmouth County, where members of the conspiracy, including Quijada, sold the firearms to individuals working at the direction and supervision of the FBI.

Rodriguez-Valpais sold a .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle to Quijada, who in turn sold the rifle to an individual working at the direction and supervision of the FBI.

In addition to gun trafficking, Quijada admitted selling cocaine to an individual working at the direction and supervision of the FBI.

Three other members of the gun trafficking conspiracy – Javier Rodriguez-Valpais, Waldin Espinosa-Ozoria, and Jacquelyn DeJesus – previously have pleaded guilty in connection with this case. The charges against Manuel Espinosa-Ozoria remain pending.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Thompson sentenced Quijada to three years of supervised release.

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