A single drug bust seizes enough fentanyl to kill all of New Jersey and NYC at once
TRENTON — Four men were indicted in connection with the seizure of nearly 100 pounds of synthetic opioid fentanyl, the largest bust of the super potent drug in state history.
Jesus Carrillo-Pineda, 31, of Philadelphia; Jesus Yanez-Martinez, 22, and Daniel Vasquez, 28, both of Somerton, Arizona; and Omar Zeus Rodriguez, 38, of Willingboro, were indicted by a grand jury after the June seizure in North Bergen and Willingboro.
Investigators initially thought they had seized heroin but a lab test revealed it to be fentanyl, according to Attorney General Christopher Porrino.
"Dealers lace heroin with this deadly poison to boost potency, and with these amounts of fentanyl being stockpiled in New Jersey, I am desperately urging heroin users to seek treatment now more than ever, as their next dose could be their last," Porrino said in a statement. "Fentanyl is so deadly that just these 45 kilos of fentanyl could have yielded enough lethal doses to kill the entire populations of New Jersey and New York City combined."
There were 417 overdose deaths from fentanyl in New Jersey in 2015, and 394 overdose deaths from fentanyl and fentanyl analogs in just the first six months of 2016, according to the most recent figures from the state.
Fentanyl is so potent that medics and police across the country have been sickened by coming into contact with it while responding to overdoses or making arrests, according to Porrino.
Carrillo-Pineda, Yanez-Martinez and Vasquez were charged with second-degree conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, second-degree possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, and third-degree possession of fentanyl, in connection with the seizure in North Bergen.
Zeus Rodriguez was charged with second-degree conspiracy, first-degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute, third-degree possession of heroin, first-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, third-degree possession of methamphetamine, second-degree possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, and third-degree possession of fentanyl.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com