YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Two Englewood Cliffs men were indicted by a federal grand jury in Newark today in connection with the seizure of 40 kilos of cocaine and nearly $3 million in cash.
The indictment charges Leonardo Blanco, 52, and 19-year-old Michael Jiminez with one count of conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.
Both have been in federal custody since their Oct. 5, 2011 arrests following searches of their homes that turned up the drugs and more than $2.9 million, authorities said.
Agents caught Jiminez “operating a heat-sealing machine in a bedroom containing heat-sealed bags of cash,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.
“The cocaine and some of the currency were hidden in concealed compartments within household furniture,” Fishman said. “Other currency either was packaged in heat-sealed plastic bags or stacked in bundles on top of bedroom furniture.
Fishman credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, and the Paterson, Jersey City, East Rutherford, Englewood Cliffs and
Englewood police departments for the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rodney Villazor of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Narcotics/Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit in Newark is handling the case.