New York men convicted in cocaine case

A Union County jury has returned convictions against the two New York City-area men who crashed their SUV in a local park a little more than two years ago, after which significant quantities of illegal drugs were recovered from them, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Thursday.  

Angel Ernesto Cesar, 27, of Yonkers, N.Y. and Ariel Jazmin, 29, of the Washington Heights section of Manhattan both were convicted of first-degree possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and two related third-degree drug offenses following a multi-week trial before state Superior Court Judge Daniel R. Lindemann and several hours of jury deliberations spread over two days. Cesar was additionally convicted of a count of second-degree eluding police, while Jazmin was also convicted on a charge of fourth-degree resisting arrest.

A Union County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force investigation assisted by the Linden Police Department led detectives to the area of Alberta Avenue in Linden at approximately 11 p.m. on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Jeremiah Lenihan, who prosecuted the case. At that location Cesar and Jazmin were located in a Chevrolet Suburban SUV, and as the detectives attempted to initiate a traffic stop, Cesar sped away, steering around several police vehicles and continuing onto a sidewalk and back onto the street, Lenihan said.

The Suburban shortly thereafter entered nearby Warinanco Park in Roselle, where it collided with a tree. Cesar was arrested at the scene of the accident, and Jazmin was apprehended following a brief foot pursuit. A significant quantity of cocaine was recovered at the scene, along with packaged materials made to appear to be additional narcotics.

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Friday, June 8, 2018 before Judge Lindemann, at which time Jazmin will be facing an extended term; he was on federal parole for crimes including racketeering and conspiracy to commit murder when he was arrested here. Cesar also has a previous indictable conviction for robbery in New York.