After two major drug transactions in New Jersey, one of which occurred outside a Walmart in Stafford Township, authorities from the NJ Drug Enforcement Administration confiscated 270 pounds of drugs, including heroin, cocaine, and 141 pounds of the prescription drug fentanyl.
The first drug bust occurred on August 1st, after DEA agents reportedly witnessed two men picking up drugs in the parking lot of a Stafford Township Walmart. The two men, 55-year-old Rogelio Alvarado-Robles and 51-year-old Blanca Flores-Solis allegedly retrieved a shopping bag full of drugs while under surveillance. Officials say they left the Manahwakin area in a silver Mercedes and went back to an apartment in Queens.
When detectives searched the shopping bag, they discovered over 2 pounds of cocaine. After obtaining a search warrant for the apartment, they retrieved several items of luggage and a purse containing 97 individual packages of drugs. 86 of the packages contained pure fentanyl, amounting to 141 pounds. In addition to the fentanyl, the other packages contained fentanyl mixed with other drugs, including heroin, cocaine, the opioid tramadol, and ketamine. The total weight of the drugs resulting from the bust was 213 pounds.
On September 5th, officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration seized an additional 55 pounds of fentanyl and heroin from a car in the Bronx. This second bust followed an alleged drug transaction that occurred in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Woodbridge. In all, investigators retrieved 270 pounds of drugs with an estimated street value of over $30 million. They say the pure fentanyl, an extremely dangerous prescription painkiller that is responsible for countless overdoses every year, could have produced approximately 32 million fatal doses.
Now, Rogelio Alvarado-Robles and Blanca Flores-Solis are facing drug charges for two counts of first degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) and two counts of third degree possession of CDS. First degree crimes are the most serious under New Jersey law and are punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Notably, New Jersey criminalizes the possession of any pharmaceutical medication without a valid prescription. This includes painkillers like OxyContin and fentanyl.
When you are arrested for prescription drugs, the number of units or pills will determine the degree of the charges. Further, if you are accused of possession with intent to distribute, the charges become more serious and the associated penalties are more severe. Typically, the most serious prescription drug charge in New Jersey is a second degree crime for distribution, which applies in cases involving 100 or more pills.
As for heroin, you can be charged with a first degree crime in New Jersey for distributing or possessing 5 ounces or more with intent to distribute. Often, people find themselves using heroin after they become addicted to prescription opioids like Oxycodone and Percocet. The prescription drug versions of painkillers have similar effects of heroin but they are far more expensive and difficult to obtain after your prescription runs out. Heroin is among the cheaper street drugs and is readily available so it is often the logical next step. Unfortunately, being charged with a crime associated with heroin or prescription drugs can bear serious consequences.
For additional information regarding this case, view the following resources:
- DEA-NJ and NYPD recover 270 pounds of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine with a street value of over $30 million
- Massive fentanyl seizure linked to N.J. Walmart, Home Depot lots