Comments Off on Ex-U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Officer, John Freehauf, aka “Johnnie Rocket,” 37, of Jersey City, Admits to Leading Methamphetamine Ring

A former officer with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services admitted to coordinating shipments of crystal methamphetamine from interstate suppliers and providing them to retailers in North Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced on Monday.20150354fe1d5bb53f6

Multiple Belleville residents were also charged with conspiracy to distribute.

According to a release, John Freehauf, aka “Johnnie Rocket,” 37, of Jersey City, pleaded guilty in Newark federal court to one count of knowingly and intentionally conspiring with others to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

According to court documents and statements, individuals operating in Arizona, California, Nevada and elsewhere sent parcels containing large quantities of methamphetamine through the U.S. mail to addresses provided by New Jersey-based conspirators, who would then repackage the methamphetamine and distribute it to lower level dealers in and around New Jersey. Conspirators working for the U.S. Postal Service would sometimes supervise receipt of the methamphetamine-laden parcels to ensure successful delivery.

Freehauf admitted that between July 2013 and June 2014, he conspired with others to distribute an average of three to five pounds of crystal methamphetamine per month in North Jersey, stated the release. Freehauf also admitted that he arranged the shipments from California, Arizona and elsewhere and repackaged the drugs for distribution to lower-level dealers.

Freehauf and several other defendants were charged by complaint on June 18, 2014, with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Other named defendants include:

  • John Freehauf, 37, Jersey City
  • Benjamin Navarro, 44, Jersey City
  • Maria Lisa Pascual, 37, North Bergen
  • Arnold Balagtas, 55, Jersey City
  • Margaret Tiangco, 39, Jersey City
  • Javier Diaz, 31, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Candace Healy, 21, Fresh Meadows, N.Y.
  • Ricce Anciado Jr., 44, Union
  • Stephanie Luna, 36, Bergenfield
  • Benedict Cipriano, 52, Jersey City
  • Ricky Tulud, 44, Belleville
  • Janice Vidallon, 32, Belleville
  • Ryan Bontempi, 35, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Howard Taylor, 49, Phoenix
  • Carlos Asturias, 43, Clifton

The conspiracy charge to which Freehauf pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine, according to a release.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 1, 2015.

According to a release, Diaz, Anciado, Cipriano, Tulud, Bontempi and Asturias have pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy. Charges against Navarro, Pascual, Tiangco, Healy, Luna, Vidallon, and Taylor are still pending.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski; U.S. Postal Inspectors under the direction of Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates; law enforcement officers from the N.J. National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, under the direction of the Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff; the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Rick Fuentes; the Edison Police Department, under the direction of Chief Thomas Bryan; and the Jersey City Police Department, under the direction of Chief Robert Cowan, with the investigation.

This case was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.








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