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Office of Public Information (609) 882-2000
Lt. Gerald Lewis - ext. 6516
Sgt. Stephen Jones - ext. 6513
Sgt. Julian Castellanos - ext. 6515

November 07, 2008

Money Laundering Arrests Nets $1.6 Million in
Hidden Car Compartment

Jersey City, N.J. - New Jersey State Police Drug Trafficking North Unit detectives, working in conjunction with attorneys from the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, arrested three men and seized more than $1.6 million in U.S. currency and four high-end vehicles Wednesday afternoon. The investigation centered on a money laundering operation working from several expensive apartments in Lyndhurst and Jersey City, New Jersey.

Luis Reyes, 39, of Jersey City, Carlos Roman, 31, of Lyndhurst, and Mario Reynoso, 29, of Newark, N.J. were all arrested following investigative motor vehicle stops. Detectives observed the three men performing suspicious activities in front of 68 Leonard Street in Jersey City. After Reyes received tools, caulk and spray paint from Reynoso, Roman drove an Audi SUV into the residence’s garage, while Reynoso acted as sentry. Hours later, the trio departed the home in three separate vehicles—Reyes driving a VW Toureg, Roman in the Audi an Reynoso in an Infinity G35.

The vehicles split up and were stopped in two separate locations. A search of the Audi immediately uncovered $35,000 in a center console, $1,000 in the glove box. There were obvious signs of fresh paint and caulk on interior panels, which when opened, revealed numerous shrink-wrapped packages of currency totalling more than $1.6 million. A subsequent search of the Leonard St. home led to the discovery of almost $40,000 of additional cash in a Winnie the Pooh shopping bag. A search of a condo on Foxhound Court at Society Hill, Jersey City, which detectives had tied to the investigation, revealed a semi-automatic handgun and paraphernalia useful in money laundering. A BMW X-5 owned by Reynoso was also seized from the Society Hill location.

All three men were charged with money laundering (first degree) and conspiracy. Additionally, Reynoso was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon. Hudson County Superior Court Judge Kevin Callahan set bail for the trio: Reyes at $150,000, Roman at $250,000, and Reynoso at $300,000. All three were lodged in Hudson County Jail in default of bail.

The investigation is continuing.

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