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Federal prison for kingpins of West New York heroin mill

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

CLIFFVIEW PILOT HAS IT FIRST: Two undocumented Dominican brothers who admitted their roles after a record-setting North Jersey heroin bust at a two-family house in a quiet West New York neighborhood were both sentenced to federal prison terms today. They will also likely be deported.

Location: just off JFK Blvd, across from North Bergen, two blocks from a grammar school

Sandy Antonio — a/k/a Alejandro Valdez, 35 — got the worse of it: 120 months.

U.S. District Judge William Martini also sentenced Antonio, one of the ringleaders, to five years of supervised release.

Also sentenced was his brother, 30-year-old David Antonio — a/k/a “Victor Arias” — of the Bronx: 46 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release.

Thanks to a tipster, the 5 a.m. raid a year ago Jan. 22 produced the largest heroin seizure in West New York history — eight pounds in all — and one of the biggest ever along the Gold Coast.

Local police busted the crew and found $1 million worth of smack ready for street sale. Authorities said the crew also had a marijuana-growing operation in place on the second floor of the house, as well as a section downstairs for drug packaging.

West New York police gave the case to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

According to a statement issued today by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in Newark:

“Sandy Antonio coordinated the co-conspirators and others in the packaging of heroin on multiple occasions between Sept. 15, 2010 and Jan. 22, 2011. Heroin packaged by the co-conspirators was seized by law enforcement from a commercial bus in the vicinity of Pittsburgh, Pa., in September 2010.

“On the evening of Jan. 22, 2011, the five defendants were packaging heroin in a residence located in West New York, when law enforcement received information about the operation. Officers and detectives from the West New York Police Department responded and found substances they believed to be drugs and drug manufacturing and packaging materials.

“After arresting the five defendants, police executed a search warrant and seized more than two kilograms of heroin, marijuana plants, and large quantities of material and equipment associated with manufacturing and packaging drugs for retail distribution. All five defendants are citizens of the Dominican Republic, without legal status in the United States.”

The Antonios join three other undocumented immigrants from the Dominican Republic who were sentenced last week — and also face deportation once they’ve completed their sentences:

Jose Delorbe, 27, a/k/a “Antonio Aquino,” also of the Bronx, who was sentenced to 46 months;

Christian Colon, 24, a/k/a “Joan Manuel Pina Dominguez,” of Lawrence, Mass., who got 19 months in prison;

Jorge Guerra Ventura, 32, of Manhattan, who received 33 months.

All five pleaded guilty to conspiring to manufacture heroin for sale.

Because it’s the federal system, they all must serve out nearly all of their sentences. Any time credits would be measured in days or, possibly a month or two.


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