A Colombian national who was arrested at his son’s Edgewater home with two kilos of heroin after sneaking back into the country was sentenced to 10 years in state prison — after which he’ll again be deported — as part of a plea deal.
Presiding Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi said the fact that the 50-year-old Miguel Angel Guzman-Nieves of Houston attended school in Colombia only until he was 10 “contributed to a life of crime.”
But she wasn’t about to grant a defense attorney’s request yesterday in Hackensack to sentence his client to the year and seven months he’s already spent behind bars.
The drug crimes “appeared to be organized activity,” the judge said, adding that Guzman-Nieves “already has convictions in Texas and New York. Now he has them in New Jersey, too.”
It won’t make much difference, anyway: Guzman-Nieves has 569 days of jail credit that are applied to his sentence and could be eligible for parole by the end of this year, his lawyer said.
New Jersey State troopers who found Guzman-Nieves, his son, Jonathan Antistian Jackson, and co-defendant Hoover Rodriguez carrying $34,059 in cash during a NJTurnpike traffic stop in obtained a warrant and seized the heroin in the River Road home in March 2013.
“My client stands here ashamed of his conduct,” defense attorney Perry Primavera told DeAvila-Silebi yesterday. “As a result of it, he has lost many things. But he has not lost his family — he has not lost their love.
“They are here to support him, and I concur to ask for time served.”
Family members — all of whom apparently are legal residents — sat in the middle of the courtroom, some crying ( photo, below ).
“We believe the year and seven months he has been in jail waiting to resolve this case is sufficient punishment, given the circumstances,” Primavera told the judge.
State Deputy Attorney General Ray Mateo noted that Guzman-Nieves was deported to his native Colombia in 2004 and re-entered the country illegally.
Guzman-Nieves also has a federal drug conviction and, as part of the plea deal, exonerated his son, the prosecutor said.
The third defendant, Rodriguez, had his sentencing postponed until October. He is expected to receive time served and also will be deported.
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