YOU READ IT HERE FIRST : A former U.S. Postal Service employee from Lyndhurst who diverted packages of cocaine deliberately mailed to addresses on her route from Puerto Rico was sentenced today to 46 months in federal prison.
Because it’s federal time, 30-year-old Christina Nunez must serve all but possibly a couple of months of the sentence handed down this morning by U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark.
Last month, Salas sentenced Nunez’s husband, Luis A. Vega, 37, to 37 months in prison for his role in distributing the cocaine-laden packages.
The couple and conspirators are believed to have moved 18 kilograms of cocaine in all – nearly a half-million dollars’ worth.
Federal authorities said Nunez, as part of a drug network, intercepted the packages and scanned them as delivered before passing them on to conspirators in Camden.
Authorities seized roughly two kilograms of cocaine during the investigation – including 1,300 grams found in February 2011 by U.S. Postal inspectors that was intended for Nunez’s route.
The drug traffickers stopped shipping for a while after that, before resuming that December.
Among the other intercepted packages was one sent from Dorado, Puerto Rico, on Aug. 22, 2012 that contained 500 grams of cocaine. It bore an address on Nunez’s route, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.
Investigators substituted a non-narcotic substance and threw it back into the Kearny postal facility hopper for delivery.
Nunez picked it up along with her other deliveries on Aug. 24 but brought the package home instead, Fishman said. Agents arrested her and Vega there that night.
Nunez and Vega received other packages at her home and Vega’s former residence in Jersey City, a complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Newark says.
In addition to the prison term, Salas sentenced Nunez to two years of supervised release – the same as she gave Vega.
Fishman credited inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; special agents of the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Postal Service; and special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Representing the government is Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary E. Toscano of Fishman’s Criminal Division in Newark.
IMAGE: Courtesty ESECAUCUS.COM
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