Photo Credit: CBC

The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office has announced that a narcotics investigation has resulted in the arrests of three people and the seizure of more than five kilograms of MDMA/Ketamine, plus the retrieval of a handgun.

According to Prosecutor Esther Suarez, the arrests were made in North Bergen on Thursday, February 22, 2024, following an investigation by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations Newark, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.  Suarez says that during the investigation, the narcotics, with a street value of over $500,000, plus the handgun were recovered.

The individuals arrested are 42-year old, Secaucus resident Mauricio Hurtado; Jose Restrepo, age 57, of North Bergen; and Bloomingdale resident Carlos Florez, age 49.   They are charged with possession with intent to distribute (MDMA); possession with intent to distribute (ketamine); conspiracy to distribute (MDMA); and conspiracy to distribute (ketamine).  The suspects were arrested in the area of 91st Street and Bergenwood Avenue.

A press release from the Prosecutor’s Office states, “A court-authorized search warrant was conducted of Hurtado’s Secaucus apartment on Friday, February 23, 2024.  A handgun, over $100,000 in cash, suspected proceeds from narcotics transactions, and narcotics were seized.”

Hurtado was additionally charged with possession with intent to distribute (MDMA); possession with intent to distribute (ketamine); possession of a firearm while committing a CDS offense; possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose; money laundering; and possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to distribute.

Prosecutor Suarez, in addition to the above named agencies, credited the Secaucus and North Bergen Police Departments for their assistance in this investigation.

At this time the above charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.