An Egg Harbor Township man has admitted his role in a conspiracy to distribute massive amounts of cocaine.

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U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger's office says 52-year-old Lester Santana pleaded guilty in Camden federal court Thursday to one count of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

According to court documents,

Santana admitted that on numerous occasions from March 2019 to August 2020, he and his conspirators flew from to [sic] San Juan, Puerto Rico, on commercial flights from Philadelphia International Airport. Santana and his conspirators purchased multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from wholesale drug suppliers based in the San Juan area in exchange for cash payments. Santana and the other conspirators then shipped the kilograms of cocaine by overnight delivery from U.S. Post Offices in San Juan to various addresses in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, including to Santana’s residence.

After the cocaine shipments were delivered, a conspirator resold the cocaine to other drug dealers in the area for profit.

Sellinger says Santana admitted that he was jointly responsible for the possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 to 150 kilograms of cocaine.

Life in prison?

The drug-trafficking conspiracy charge carries a minimum of 10 years in prison, potentially up to life, and a fine of up to $10 million.

What's next?

Sentencing for Santana is scheduled for May 18th.

Two conspirators in this case, Jose Gonzalez and Iran Soler, both previously pleaded guilty before Judge O’Hearn to conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

Gonzalez is scheduled to be sentenced later this month and Soler on February 6th.

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