NEWARK, N.J. – A Peruvian woman was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for smuggling approximately seven kilograms of cocaine into the United States from Peru, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Yolanda Fonseca Melgarejo, 60, a legal permanent resident of the United States and a citizen of Peru, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging her with one count of importation of controlled substances. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Fonseca Melgarejo arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport aboard a flight from Lima, Peru, on March 31, 2019. Law enforcement officers discovered that Fonseca Melgarejo possessed approximately seven kilograms of cocaine concealed within wrapped chocolate candy in her luggage.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced Melgarejo to two years of supervised release.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina; and officers of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, New York Field Office, under the direction of Director of Field Operations Frank Russo, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Agnew of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit in Newark.