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Calif. man sentenced in NJ for role in drug ring

1-21-14

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A California man charged in a 325-pound cocaine bust in northern New Jersey is now headed to federal prison.

The Record (http://bit.ly/KBejHP) reports that Manuel Blanquet had faced 12 to 15 years in prison. But since he has cooperated with federal prosecutors, the San Bernadino resident was sentenced Tuesday to 4½ years.

Blanquet was involved in a ring that used a recreational vehicle with secret compartments to ship narcotics across the country.

He was one of four men arrested in Fort Lee by federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents in September 2011 as the recreational vehicle, carrying 148 kilos of cocaine, was about to cross the George Washington Bridge into New York.

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Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), http://www.northjersey.com