Two Woodbridge men were indicted Monday on racketeering, conspiracy, and witness tampering charges related to a huge gang-member operation that spanned Middlesex County and beyond.
Jonathan Nieves, 31, of Proper and Roy Remiggio, 33, of the Keasbey section of Woodbridge, were named in the indictment as two of 31 alleged gang members and associates of a violent Perth Amboy-based drug network linked to the Ñeta street gang.
The mass list of defendants were allegedly involved in trafficking heroin and crack cocaine on the street in Middlesex County and in New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, the NJ Office of the Attorney General (NJOAG) announced today.
The indictment, handed down in Mercer County Superior Court on August 6, alleges that Nieves and Remiggio were involved with alleged crime kingpin Danni Rivera, 28, of Rahway, a supposed high-ranking member of the Ñetas and the alleged crime leader of the drug network.
“We charge that Danni Rivera used violence and the threat of violence to exert control over his drug network as a local leader of the Ñetas,” said Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa. “The kidnapping alleged in this indictment demonstrates his willingness to resort to violence. Through cooperative, multi-agency investigations, we’re targeting the drug dealing and violence plaguing our urban centers.”
Among the charges is a March 9, 2011 robbery witnessed by a Perth Amboy detective. At the alleged behest of Rivera, it is charged that Damien Castro, 28, of Carteret, and Richard Orengo, 30, of Perth Amboy allegedly engaged in shaking down a drug dealer who was competing with the Ñetas in Perth Amboy.
Remiggio and Ornego were charged with second-degree witness tampering when they allegedly coerced the victim of the robbery into signing a statement denying that he was robbed.
Remiggio was also charged with second-degree conspiracy. He was the only defendant out of the 31 who wasn't charged with racketeering, said NJOAG spokesman Peter Aseltine.
Nieves is in custody in the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick and is being held on $150,000 bail. There is a warrant out for Remiggio's arrest, Aseltine said.
Rivera, who is being held on $1 million bail, faces a slew of charges handed down in the indictment:
- Charged as being the leader of a narcotics trafficking network, a first-degree offense that carries a sentence of life in state prison, including 25 years of parole ineligibility and a fine of up to $750,000;
- Charged with kidnapping, a first-degree offense that carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, for allegedly ordering the kidnapping of a young man who was beaten, taken to a motel in Sayreville, and held at gunpoint in December 2009. That charges carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in state prison and a $200,000 fine;
- With seven other defendants, Rivera faces various second- or third-degree drug charges in connection with alleged drug sales or drugs seized during the investigation;
- Charged along with 29 other defendants of first-degree racketeering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in state prison and a $200,000 fine.
In addition, Rivera and 14 other suspects are also charged with conspiracy and money laundering in connection with a scheme to sell heroin to inmates in New Jersey State Prison in Trenton. It is alleged that two inmates in the prison, William Suarez, 27, and Eligio Bueno, 30 - both of whom are Ñetas members serving sentences for murder - conspired with Rivera and others to take heroin orders from fellow inmates and have heroin smuggled to the customers inside the prison. They allegedly would direct the inmates to have money sent to the defendants outside the prison, for delivery to Rivera’s sister, Isis Rivera, 27, of South Amboy, or another intermediary.
The Ñeta street gang (meaning 'new birth') was founded in a Puerto Rican prison in 1979 by an inmate who sought to protect weaker prisoners from a rival gang. Now, according to GangsOrUs.com, they "use the facade of a cultural organization and see themselves as oppressed people who are unwilling to be governed by the United States."
Outside of Puerto Rico, Ñeta chapters exist in prison and out of it, in 36 cities in primarily 9 Northeastern states, including New Jersey.
The gang's main source of income, GangsOrUs.com says, "is [the] retail distribution of powder and crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana and, to a lesser extent, LSD, MDMA, methamphetamine, and PCP.
"Ñeta members commit assault, auto theft, burglary, drive-by shootings, extortion, home invasion, money laundering, robbery, weapons and explosives trafficking, and witness intimidation."
The case against the defendants has been remanded to Middlesex County Superior Court by Mercer Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson.
The full list of the 31 defendants in the indictment are:
- Danni Rivera, 28, of Rahway,
- Isis Rivera, 27, of South Amboy,
- Jesus Criado, 28, of Newark,
- William Suarez, 27, of New Jersey State Prison, Trenton,
- Eligio Bueno, 30, of New Jersey State Prison, Trenton,
- Andre Ocasio, 36, of Bloomfield,
- Damien Castro, 28, of Carteret,
- Richard Orengo, 40, of Perth Amboy,
- Roy Remiggio, 33, of Keasbey,
- Antonio Martinez, 26, of Newark,
- Hector DelValle, 44, of Newark,
- Jonathan Nieves, 31, of Woodbridge,
- Alexander Cosme, 27, of Perth Amboy,
- Josue Santiago, 29, of Perth Amboy,
- Willie Brown, 43, of Carteret,
- Alexander Rosario, 20, of Perth Amboy,
- David Rivera, 48, of Brooklyn, N.Y.,
- William Gonzales, 51, of Brooklyn, N.Y.,
- Jacqueline Devargas, 25, of Perth Amboy,
- Carol Rivera, 25, of Perth Amboy,
- Deborah Conroy, 55, of Newark,
- Mario Flores, 49, of New Jersey State Prison, Trenton,
- Dora Figueroa, 47, of Camden,
- Mona Alphonse, 55, of Irvington,
- Carmen Zepeda, 54, of Los Angeles, Calif.,
- Rosalee Howard, 53, of Elizabeth,
- Maria Del Cid, 27, of Westbury, N.Y.,
- Alberto Melendez, 21, of Perth Amboy,
- Jufranio Blanco, 20, of Perth Amboy,
- Thomas Stuhrmann, 34, of Newark,
- Veronica Martinez, 23, of Newark