Grand jury charges 2 New York men in $1 million, California-to-Cincinnati narcotics conspiracy | USAO-SDOH


CINCINNATI – A federal grand jury has charged two New York men in a narcotics conspiracy involving more than 66 pounds of cocaine and at least 10 pounds of heroin.


Maximo Pena Herrera, 40, and Joel Serrata Rosario, 27, were each charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin and five kilograms or more of cocaine.


Rosario was charged with a second count of possessing with the intent to distribute cocaine.


According to court documents, on May 11, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop in El Reno, Oklahoma on a commercial truck driver traveling from California to Cincinnati. The DEA Dallas-Oklahoma District Office assisted agents from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) on the traffic stop.


A drug-detecting canine alerted to an SUV being transported by the hauler truck. Law enforcement officials discovered 29 kilograms of cocaine and five kilograms of heroin in a hidden compartment within the SUV. The amount of narcotics seized has a street value of more than $1 million.


Court documents detail that law enforcement tracked the vehicle to the Cincinnati area where Herrera and Rosario allegedly picked up the vehicle and paid the commercial truck driver $1,900 in cash. It is alleged the defendants were instructed by an inmate in a New York jail to obtain the narcotics in Harrison, Ohio, and deliver them to a specific location in Cincinnati.


A subsequent search of Rosario’s Cincinnati hotel room led agents to discover an additional three kilograms of cocaine.


The narcotics conspiracy charged in this case carries a penalty of at least 10 years and up to life in prison. Possessing with intent to distribute cocaine, as charged against Rosario, is punishable by five to 40 years in prison.


Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Kent Kleinschmidt, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); and other members of the DEA’s drug task force announced the charges. Assistant United States Attorney Kelly K. Rossi is representing the United States in this case.


An indictment merely contains allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.


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