Nearly half-kilogram of cocaine seized following Elizabeth narcotics investigation

An Elizabeth man was arrested and nearly half a kilogram of cocaine seized as the result of a narcotics investigation that culminated late last week, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Monday.

Cristian Mateo Perez, 35, is charged with first-degree possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, a single second-degree drug offense, and two third-degree drug offenses.

The investigation was conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office’s Guns, Gangs, Drugs, and Violent Crimes Task Force. Members of the Task Force and the Elizabeth Police Department Narcotics Unit arrested Perez Friday morning outside his Cherry Street home, recovering 75 grams of cocaine and $436 from his person and additionally recovering 335 grams of cocaine, slightly more than $3,000 in cash, drug paraphernalia used for the processing and packaging of cocaine, and a drug press from his home. 

Perez was lodged in Union County Jail, with bail set at $500,000 by state Superior Court Judge Regina Caulfield.

Convictions on first-degree crimes are punishable by 10 to 20 years in state prison, while convictions on second-degree offenses typically result in terms of 5 to 10 years in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.