Two men were arrested and approximately six kilograms of cocaine were seized as the result of a narcotics investigation involving municipal, county, and federal law enforcement, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Tuesday.
Armando Castro-Rendon, 45, of Baja California, Mexico and Oscar Ruiz-Rios, 52, of San Bernardino, California are charged with first-degree possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and three lesser drug offenses.
A joint investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office’s Guns, Gangs, Drugs, and Violent Crimes Task Force and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HIS), with the assistance of the Union County Emergency Response Team (UCERT) SWAT Unit and the Elizabeth Police Department Narcotics Unit, resulted in Castro-Rendon and Ruiz-Rios being identified as suspects. They were both taken into custody without incident in Elizabeth Monday night.
Ruiz-Rios was found to be in possession of one kilogram of cocaine, and following the issuance of a search warrant, an additional five kilograms were recovered from the engine compartment of Castro-Rendon’s vehicle. The combined street value of the seized drugs is approximately $600,000.
Both defendants were lodged in Union County Jail pending a first appearance.
Convictions on first-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by 10 to 20 years in state prison.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.