Man admits to trafficking fentanyl into country

NEWARK, NJ — On Feb. 14, a Mexican man admitted his role in conspiring to traffic approximately 300 grams of fentanyl into New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Angel Santo Jerez Matos, 60, aka “El Colonel,” pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty in Newark federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl.

According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Matos was a supplier of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine to a drug trafficking organization operating in and around New Jersey.

Matos and a member of a New Jersey drug trafficking organization were heard on intercepted communications discussing the pricing of “cars,” meaning kilograms of narcotics to be shipped from Mexico into the United States through California. The drugs would then be shipped to New Jersey. Additional communications among members of the New Jersey drug trafficking organization revealed that 300 grams of fentanyl that had originated with Matos in Mexico had made its way to users in Newark in May 2017.

The conspiracy charge to which Matos pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for June 19.