Admitted meth dealer given 10-year sentence
The drug suspect who drew state police gunfire while trying to mow down two of them with his car during a 2014 bust in Mount Laurel heads to prison for 10 years.
Juan Gutierrez-Valencia, 25, of Pemberton, will be required to serve three and a half years without parole eligibility, according to the office of acting New Jersey Attorney General Robert Lougy's office.
Gutierrez-Valencia pleaded guilty in January to a first-degree charge of methamphetamine possession with intent to distribute, a second-degree count of unlawful possession of a handgun, and a fourth-degree obstruction charge.
The 10-year term is tied to the drug charge. The five-year sentence for the weapons count and 18 months for obstruction are to run concurrently.
Four others, arrested in Plumsted within the same probe but dealing separately from Gutierrez-Valencia, pleaded guilty in Ocean County in January.
Three have been sentenced and one has been recommended for a 10-year term.
Gutierrez-Valencia was arrested during a probe of meth and heroin distribution in Ocean and Burlington Counties by the New Jersey State Police and the U.S. Drug Enforcment Agency (DEA), which they dubbed Operation Speed Racer.
Also involved were the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, the Cape May and Gloucestor County Prosecutor's Offices, and Ewing Township police.
The State Police and DEA were
Gutierrez-Valencia was arrested July 7, 2014, outside a hotel on Fellowship Road in Mount Laurel, after arranging to sell two kilograms of cyrstal meth to an undercover investigator.
Inside his car, Gutierrez-Valencia produced a black gym bag containing a "large amount of methamphetamine," authorities said.
The detective emerged and signaled the NJSPD TEAMS unit to arrest Gutierrez-Valencia. As he attempted to escape, he drove into two state troopers, prompting the third to open fire, grazing Gutierrez-Valencia's arm.
A search of his car yielded two kilograms of meth and a stolen nine-millimeter handgun, authorities said.
The trooper who fired was cleared after a review of the incident by the Attorney General's shooting response team.