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ICE Agent Pleads Guilty in NJ Drug Sting

beeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent pleaded guilty Wednesday in Newark to conspiring to steal what he thought was a large quantity of cocaine from a purported drug dealer. It turned out to be a sting conducted by ICE.

Valentino Johnson, 26, of Brooklyn, who was working as an ICE agent in Manhattan at the time of the crime, was allowed to remain free pending his Oct. 13 sentencing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark said.

Authorities charged that Johnson conspired with others including an ICE confidential informant to steal what he thought was a large quantity of cocaine stashed in a Newark warehouse. He then planned to distribute the drugs,with profits to be split among his partners in crime.

Johnson and his co-conspirators traveled to Newark on September 10, 2009, the day before the planned burglary, to inspect the warehouse, authorities said. They returned the next day to steal the goods.

Once they arrived at the warehouse, one of the men used bolt cutters to get access to the inside of the warehouse.

Johnson and one of the men then entered and “unloaded what they believed to be kilograms of cocaine from a truck parked inside” while another person stood watch. The drugs ended up being “50 kilograms of sham cocaine”, according to an affidavit by ICE special agent Michael Riley.

The three were arrested as part of the ICE investigation, authorities said.

Read Criminal Complaint and Affidavit


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