Farm workers held in Hammonton cocaine-methamphetamine bust
Three employees of a Hammonton commercial farm are under arrest and drugs valued in the tens of thousands of dollars are seized along with cash and a handgun in a probe of cocaine and methamphetamines in the township.
Juvenal Duran-Almanza, 29, Moises Duran-Almanza, 38, and Vincent Lopez-Hernandez, 24, hired hands of the Columbia Fruit Farm, face a battery of charges filed by detectives in the office of Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner.
All three were placed in the Atlantic County Justice Facility to await detention hearings. US Homeland Security - Immigrations and Customs Enforcement issued immigration detainers for Moises Duran-Almanza and Lopez-Hernandez.
Investigators in the Atlantic County SWAT Team said that they confiscated 11 ounces of methamphetamines, with a street value of $17,600, 20 ounces of cocaine worth approximately $28,000, another $25,000 cash, two vehicles and a handgun in the probe they called Operation Crystal Ball.
Search warrants were executed Thursday at the farm site and a Walnut Avenue location, authorities said. The investigation entailed resources of Tyner's office, Homeland Security Investigations, FBI, DEA, Hammonton Police, the Atlantic County Sheriff's Office, Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office, and Stockton Unviersity's police force.
Juvenal Duran-Almanza and Moises Duran-Almanza each faces 10 varouus first-, second- and third-degree charges related to cocaine and crystal meth possession and distribution, possession of US currency tied to drug sales, and weapons possession.
Lopez-Hernandez faces a first-degree charge of attempting to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, and a third-degree cocaine possession count.
Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.