Township Woman Among Three Facing Drug-Related Charges

Police find two packages with $500,000 worth of cocaine.


Victor Santana-Ricardo, Jessica Rodriguez and Joel Osman Matos-Santiago, left to right, face drug-related charges stemming from their Oct. 8 arrests in the township.
Photo: Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

Three people – including a township woman – face drug-related charges after a package delivered to a township home was found to contain about $500,000 worth of cocaine.

One of the defendants also faces eluding charges after he allegedly led police on a short car chase, ending after a prosecutor’s office vehicle was struck on Park Street.

Jessica Rodgriguez, 25, of Somerset, Joel Osman Matos-Santiago, 33, and Victor M. Santana-Ricardo, 27, both of New Brunswick, were arrested Oct. 8 on various drug-related charges, according to a press release from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

The prosecutor’s Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force was told by the U.S. Postal Service and New Brunswick Police Department that a package containing a controlled and dangerous substance was going to be delivered via the USPS to a Dover Avenue home, according to the release.

Task Force detectives and USPS inspectors intercepted two packages addressed to Rodriguez at her Dover Avenue home in the Franklin Post Office, according to the release. The Somerset County Sheriff’s Office K-9 “Apex” was brought in to sniff the packages and indicated that they contained a CDS, the release said.

The Task Force then set up surveillance near Rodriguez’s home, according to the release. At about 3:30 p.m., Santana-Ricardo and Matos-Santiago were seen standing outside the home when the Postal Officer arrived with the packages, according to the release. Matos-Santiago left in a car, while Santana-Ricardo told the officer that he was Rodriguez’s husband, and to leave the packages on the front steps.

When the postal officer left, Santiago-Ricardo made a call on his cell phone, the release said, and Matos-Santiago returned in the car. After getting the packages and putting them on the car’s back seat, Matos-Santiago drove toward Hamilton Street at a high rate of speed, according to the release.

Matos-Santiago attempted to elude task force detectives when they tried to conduct a motor vehicle stop, resulting in the accident with a prosecutor’s officer’s car on Park Street, according to the release. Matos-Santiago was then placed under arrest.

Santana-Ricardo was arrested at the Dover Avenue home, and Rodriguez was arrested at 5:30 p.m. when she returned home, according to the release.

Police searched Matos-Santiago’s car and found the packages, which contained 5 kilograms of cocaine.

Matos-Santiago was charged with 1st Degree Possession of CDS (Cocaine) with the Intent to Distribute, 2nd Degree Conspiracy to Commit a CDS Offense and 2nd Degree Eluding.

Santana-Ricardo and Rodriguez were charged with 1st Degree Possession of CDS (Cocaine) with Intent to Distribute and 2nd Degree Conspiracy to Commit a CDS Offense.

Bail was set for Matos-Santiago and Santana-Ricardo at $250,000, cash only, and $100,000 cash only for Rodriguez.


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