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Re: Arrests of Jersey City/Hoboken Police in Cocaine Sting @ Calle Luna/Hernandez Restaurant -356 Va
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Lock them all up and throw away the key.

Posted on: 2009/10/8 6:29
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Re: Arrests of Jersey City/Hoboken Police in Cocaine Sting @ Calle Luna/Hernandez Restaurant -356 Va
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Quote:

pooper wrote:
It's a shame about Mark Medal. Former IBF champ and really nice guy when I met him. I hope this is just a rough patch for him on the way to greener pastures.


True.

Whatever the outcome, jail or acquittal, I like to think that this is a country of second chances. I hope that he faces these charges with a strong sense of genuine remorse if he is guilty and has already begun to rebuild his shattered life.

Posted on: 2009/10/8 5:45
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Re: Arrests of Jersey City/Hoboken Police in Cocaine Sting @ Calle Luna/Hernandez Restaurant -356 Varick
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It's a shame about Mark Medal. Former IBF champ and really nice guy when I met him. I hope this is just a rough patch for him on the way to greener pastures.

Posted on: 2009/10/8 4:29
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Re: Arrests of Jersey City/Hoboken Police in Cocaine Sting @ Calle Luna/Hernandez Restaurant -356 Varick
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the alleged current side business notwithstanding, Hernandez has been a neighborhood institution for over two decades, one of a very few places that serves authentic Puerto Rican soul food. Decidedly downscale and delicious!

Posted on: 2009/10/8 4:01
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Re: Arrests of Jersey City/Hoboken Police in cocaine sting at Hernandez Restaurant (356 Varick)
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I walked down the stairs and in to try the food but I just can't eat at places that are below street level Downtown.

http://jclist.com/modules/newbb/viewt ... id=145112#forumpost145112

Posted on: 2009/10/8 3:00
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Arrests of Jersey City/Hoboken Police in Cocaine Sting @ Calle Luna/Hernandez Restaurant -356 Varick
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Calle Luna AKA D. Hernandez Restaurant is at 356 Varick, right in the middle of Dixon Mills, and right next to the Columbus Deli.
Resized Image

Official details on arrests in Jersey City/Hoboken cocaine investigation

Hudson reporter

The Hudson County Prosecutor?s Office released details on the recent arrests of 17 people in connection with a Jersey City cocaine ring.

The one-and-a-half year sting netted a suspended Jersey City police officer, a Hoboken police officer, a Hoboken fire battalion chief, and a Hoboken Parking Utility employee. All three have been suspended by the city.

Three of the 17 arrests are being prosecuted by the US Attorney?s Office; the other arrests are being prosecuted by the county.

Here is the county release: -- TJC

17 CHARGED IN HUDSON COUNTY NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION INCLUDING TWO POLICE OFFICERS AND ONE FIREFIGHTER

The Hudson County Prosecutor?s Office announced criminal charges against 17 individuals for various narcotics and other criminal charges. Three of those charged will be prosecuted federally by the United States Attorney?s Office, Southern District of New York. Among the other 14 facing State charges are a Police Officer from Jersey City, a Police Officer from Hoboken, and a Battalion Fire Chief from Hoboken.

The year and a half-long investigation was launched by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office Task Force and centered on a cocaine trafficking network operating out of the Calle Luna restaurant, located on Varick Street in Jersey City. Early on in the investigation, the Prosecutor?s Task Force partnered with both the Jersey City Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Division. Anthony Velez, Age 37, Manuel Reyes, Jr., Age 31 and Felix Santiago III, Age 34, were identified in the investigation as the alleged leaders.

On September 22, 2009, Velez, Reyes and Santiago were arrested and charged in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, with Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams and more of mixtures and substances containing a detectable amount of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. ? 846.

Court-authorized search warrants were also executed at The ?Calle Luna? Restaurant (also known as the ?D. Hernandez? Restaurant) located at 356 Varick Street, Jersey City, New Jersey; 36 Perry Street, Jersey City, New Jersey; and 337 Claremont Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey. Over 500 grams of cocaine and four firearms have been seized by the Hudson County Prosecutor?s Office Narcotics Task Force, the Jersey City Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Police believe the network distributed about $35,000 worth of cocaine per week.

On October 6, 2009, 14 other individuals were arrested or issued State criminal complaints in connection with the investigation. Among those 14 that had State charges filed against them were Jersey City Police Officer Mark Medal and Hoboken Battalion Fire Chief Henry Setkiewicz, who were both believed to be regular cocaine customers of the network. Medal is currently on suspension from the Jersey City Police Department. The investigation revealed that Setkiewicz allegedly purchased the cocaine while he was on duty at a Hoboken firehouse.

Hoboken Police Officer Ralph Gallo, Age 25, was charged with Official Misconduct and Computer-related criminal activity after he allegedly ran a law enforcement license plate in a government database as a favor for one of the targets of the investigation. Hoboken Parking Utility employee, Monica Thorpe, Age 42, was also charged with Computer-related criminal activity in a similar scheme.


The following is a list of the individuals charged thus far and their respective bails, if applicable:

1. Anthony Velez, 36 Perry Street, Jersey City, New Jersey, Age 37
Federal Charge: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams and more of mixtures and substances containing a detectable amount of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. ? 846.

2. Manuel Reyes, Jr. , 337 Claremont Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey, Age 31
Federal Charge: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams and more of mixtures and substances containing a detectable amount of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. ? 846.


3. Felix Santiago III, 1 Marine View Plaza, Hoboken, New Jersey, Age 34
Federal Charge: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams and more of mixtures and substances containing a detectable amount of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. ? 846.

4. Nirav B. Lakhani, 36 Perry Street, Jersey City, New Jersey, Age 25
State Charges: Conspiracy to Distribute cocaine in an aggregate quantity of five ounces or more in violation of N.J.S. 2C:5-2 (second degree); Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Cocaine) in a quantity of five ounces or more in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and b(1) (first degree); Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Cocaine) while within 1000 feet of a school in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7 (third degree); and Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Cocaine) while within 500 feet of Public Property in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1 (second degree). Bail: $400,000 cash/bond.


5. Joseph Casiano, Jr. , 70 Washington Street, Apartment 2N, Hoboken, New Jersey, Age 21
State Charge: Conspiracy to Distribute cocaine in an aggregate quantity of five ounces or more, and heroin in an aggregate quantity of less than one-half ounce in violation of N.J.S. 2C:5-2. (second degree).Bail: $150,000 cash/bond.

6. Maria Mestre, 337 Claremont Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey, Age 39
State Charge: Conspiracy to Distribute cocaine in an aggregate quantity of five ounces or more in violation of N.J.S. 2C:5-2 (second degree). Bail: $125,000 cash/bond.

7. Carlos Rivera, 151 Williams Avenue , Jersey City, New Jersey, Age 19 State Charges: Conspiracy to Distribute cocaine in an aggregate quantity of five ounces or more in violation of N.J.S. 2C:5-2 (second degree); and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (handgun) in violation of N.J.S. 2C:39-5b (second degree). Bail: $150,000 cash/bond.

8. Tulio C. Lopez, 185 Van Winkle Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey, Age 51
State Charge: Conspiracy to Distribute cocaine in an aggregate quantity of five ounces or more in violation of N.J.S. 2C:5-2 (second degree). Bail: $75,000 cash/bond.

9. Will Camacho, 36 Perry Street, Jersey City, New Jersey, Age 18
State Charges: Conspiracy to Distribute cocaine in an aggregate quantity of five ounces or more in violation of N.J.S. 2C:5-2 (second degree); Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Cocaine) in a quantity of five ounces or more in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and b(1) (first degree); Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Cocaine) while within 1000 feet of a school in violati on of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7 (third degree); and Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Cocaine) while within 500 feet of Public Property in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1 (second degree). Bail: $350,000 cash/bond.

10. Carlos Burgos, 152 New York Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey, Age 32
State Charge: Conspiracy to Distribute cocaine in an aggregate quantity of five ounces or more in violation of N.J.S. 2C:5-2 (second degree). Bail: $200,000 cash.

11. Pedro J. Torres, 26 Corbin Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey, Age 49
State Charge: Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine in violation N.J.S. 2C: 5-2 (third degree). Released on Summons Complaint


12. Monica Thorpe, 1 Marine View Plaza, Hoboken, New Jersey, Age 42
State Charge: Computer Theft (computer criminal activity) in violation of N.J.S. 2C:20-25(a) (third degree). Released on Summons Complaint

13. Mark Medal, 216 5th Street, Jersey City, New Jersey, Age 52
State Charge: Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine in violation N.J.S. 2C: 5-2 (third degree). Released on Summons Complaint

14. Henry Setkiewicz, 965 Summit Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey, Age 59
State Charge: Conspiracy to Possess cocaine in violation of N.J.S. 2C:5-2 (third degree. Released on Summons Complaint

15. Alicia Orrego, 26 Corbin Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey, Age 32

State Charge: Conspiracy to Possess cocaine in violation of N.J.S. 2C:5-2 (third degree). Released on Summons Complaint

16. Edward Bloncourt, 723 County Avenue, Secaucus, New Jersey, Age 55
State Charge: Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine in violation of N.J.S. 2C:5-2 (third degree). Released on Summons Complaint

17. Ralph F. Gallo, 10 Church Towers, Hoboken, New Jersey, Age 25
State Charge: Official Misconduct in violation of N.J.S. 2C:30-2 (second degree); and Computer Theft (computer criminal activity) in violation of N.J.S. 2C:20-25(a) (third degree). Released on Summons Complaint.

The first-degree State charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in state prison and a $200,000 fine, while second-degree State charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine. Third-degree State charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

According to First Assistant Prosecutor Gregory, the investigation is on-going and additional arrests and charges are expected shortly.

First Assistant Gregory credited the following agencies that were instrumental in this successful investigation: the Jersey City Police Department under the leadership of Chief Thomas J. Comey; the United States Drug Enforcement Administration under the leadership of Special Agent in Charge Gerard P. McAleer; and the United States Attorney?s Office, Southern District of New York under the leadership of United States Attorney Preet Bharara. Assistant United States Attorney Zachary Feingold will prosecute the federal case.


The above charges are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).

Posted on: 2009/10/8 1:33
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