Federal authorities arrested two men after they discovered a massive amount of heroin and fentanyl in a tractor trailer at a New Jersey rest area.
Forty-eight year old California based truck driver Luis Aponte and 29 year old Pennsylvania resident Denny Diaz were both arrested and charged with a single count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl last week, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Authorities say that Aponte drove his truck to a rest area in Bloomsbury, New Jersey, on March 1. Aponte parked overnight at the rest area, and then, on March 2, Aponte met with Diaz inside a car at the rest area and allegedly gave Diaz seven grams of fentanyl while the two drove a short distance away from the rest area.
After this transaction was made, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration pulled over the car and arrested both men and returned to the rest area to search Aponte’s truck. Inside the truck’s cab and refrigerator, they found another 13 kilograms of fentanyl and five kilograms of heroin. They also found $17,000 in cash in a backpack on Aponte’s person.
The total estimated street value of the 20 grams of fentanyl and 5 grams of heroin is $150 million.
Both Diaz and Aponte are facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and the possibility of life in prison in addition to the possibility of a fine of $10 million each.
Both men are being held without bail.
Multiple agencies are investigating the large-scale drug bust including the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, the New York City Police Department and the New York State Police.
“Over the weekend, we stopped $150 million worth of opioids from getting into the Northeast and into over 15 million users’ hands,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan.