Press Release

Press Releases << RICHARDS MERCEDES AVILA AND HECTOR B. MERCEDES CEDENO CHARGED WITH DRUG AND FIREARM OFFENSES

For Immediate Release:

September 13, 2021

Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrests of RICHARDS MERCEDES AVILA (DOB: 8/27/1997; single; landscaper) and HECTOR B. MERCEDES CEDENO (DOB: 8/21/1984; single; mechanic) of 7840 Rebel Walk Drive, Manassas, VA on drug and firearm related offenses. These arrests are the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Jason Love.

On September 8, 2021, members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force conducted a motor vehicle stop on a white Nissan Murano as it was traveling on Interstate 95 North in the area of Leonia, NJ. A search of the vehicle revealed an aftermarket electronic hidden compartment located in the center console. The hidden compartment contained a drug press and a 9mm handgun and magazine loaded with hollow nose bullets. The occupants of the vehicle, RICHARDS MERCEDES AVILA and HECTOR B. MERCEDES CEDENO were arrested on the scene without incident.

RICHARDS MERCEDES AVILA and HECTOR B. MERCEDES CEDENO were each charged with one count of second-degree unlawfully possessing a firearm; N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b(1); one count of fourth-degree possession of hollow nose bullets, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3f(1); and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, specifically a drug press, N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2, a disorderly persons offense.

MERCEDES AVILA and MERCEDES CEDENO were remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending their first appearances in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack, NJ.

Prosecutor Mark Musella states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.