Fatal North Bergen hit-and-run suspect charged in money laundering scheme

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The man charged in a fatal hit-and-run in North Bergen in late September has been implicated in a money laundering scheme that saw gold, diamond rings, a Mercedes Benz and large quantities of cash seized, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.

From left to right: Melissa Coda, Olvy Torres and Yesenia Suriel. Photos courtesy of the Hudson County Prosectuor's Office.
From left to right: Melissa Coda, Olvy Torres and Yesenia Suriel. Photos courtesy of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

On November 3, Olvy Torres, 36, of Palisades Park, who was previously charged with
leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident in North Bergen and money laundering, was also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, Suarez said in a statement.

Additionally, on November 4, members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Narcotics Task Force arrested Melissa Coda, 37, of Teaneck, and charged her with money laundering, as well as conspiracy to commit money, authorities said.

Coda was arrested after a search of a safety deposit box maintained by her led to the recovery of more than $250,000 in cash and a kilogram of gold valued at more than $40,000, officials said.

Furthermore, the NTF also seized her 2013 Mercedes Benz ML350.

Then, on November 8, Yesenia Suriel, 30, of Brooklyn, NY, surrendered to authorities and
was charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering, police said.

A search of a safety deposit box maintained by Suriel resulted in the recovery of more than $75,000 in cash and two diamond rings, officials said.

Back on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, at approximately 6:45 a.m., the North Bergen Police Department received a report of a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle at 7600 River Road.

Upon arrival, North Bergen police found Luisa Valdes, 59, of Union City, lying on
the ground. She was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 7 a.m.

During the preliminary investigation, it was discovered that the vehicle involved in the crash, a Hyundai Santa Fe, was abandoned at the scene and the driver fled on foot.

The suspected driver of the vehicle was later identified as Torres.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of Torres and after an exhaustive manhunt and joint
investigation conducted by the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, the North Bergen Police
Department and the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor, Torres turned himself into
authorities.

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