The Record (Bergen County, NJ), North Jersey Media Group
BYLINE: RICHARD COWEN, STAFF WRITER,
Passaic County, NJ
Accomplice said stolen coke was sold
Ever since Passaic County Sheriff's officer Alan Souto was arrested in March 2008 for stealing nearly 100 pounds of cocaine from the evidence vault, a big question has gone unanswered:
Who got the drugs?
The answer may have finally come to light on Monday, when one of Souto's accomplices in the dope theft, boxing manager Henry Cortes, appeared in U.S. District Court in Newark and was sentenced to six years in prison.
In begging for leniency, Cortes submitted papers to Judge Jose L. Linares in which he admitted being the connection between Souto and a notorious Paterson drug dealer who goes by the name "Truck." Cortes told the court that Souto came to him in early 2007 and was put in touch with Truck through a boxer that Cortes was managing, the former junior welterweight champion Kendall Holt.
In his papers, Cortes identifies Truck as Ricardo Aguilar, who he said was Holt's "best friend." Cortes describes Truck as a "major drug dealer" and said he initially resisted Souto's offer, but finally yielded to pressure and set up a meeting with the boxer. Cortes said he used a warehouse he owned on John Street in Haledon as a stash house, where the drugs and money were exchanged.
But it appears that Aguilar is not Truck's real name. The state Department of Corrections says "Truck" is the alias used by Ricardo Argueyes, 37. Argueyes, of Paterson, was released from Bayside State Prison in Cumberland County on May 26, after serving a five-year sentence for drug dealing.
Ricardo Argueyes is also mentioned as an alleged drug dealer named "Truck" in a lawsuit filed in March by former Passaic County Sheriff's Officer Darren Woolridge. In the suit, Woolridge claims another Passaic County sheriff's officer, Rae Galan, once tipped off Argueyes that he was under investigation. Galan was charged with official misconduct in May and is suspended without pay.
Galan did not return a phone call for comment on Tuesday. Holt could not be reached for comment.
Despite the allegations, Argueyes has not been charged criminally in either the Souto case or the Galan case. Jay McCann, the assistant Passaic County prosecutor who handled the Souto case, said "I can't comment on this" when when reached Monday and asked about Argueyes.
Argueyes could not be located for comment.
Passaic County authorities have previously identified Argueyes as a member of the Latin Kings street gang. In October, he was named as one of three suspects in a major drug bust in Newark coordinated by the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office.
Authorities seized 5 pounds of heroin worth $750,000, plus two handguns and $45,000 after a raid at home in the North Ward section of Newark. The drugs were believed to be headed to Passaic County, authorities said, and police found the dope stashed in secret compartments of a Cadillac and a Mercedes-Benz. Arrested were Karl Carrion, no age given, and Daniel Portes, 31, both of New York. The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office said it was seeking Argueyes as the third suspect.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
International Association for Property and Evidence
"Law Enforcement Serving the Needs of Law Enforcement"