Man Charged in Sales of Two Guns and Thousands of Counterfeit Pills Containing Fentanyl in Hell’s Kitchen
Dog toy stuffed with pills recovered at time of arrest
NEW YORK CITY – A Manhattan man was arrested for sales of two guns and thousands of counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl following a long-term undercover investigation. At the time of his arrest, Aaron Sanchez was allegedly carrying a dog toy stuffed with 1,000 counterfeit pills.
Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Tim Foley, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Division, New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen announced the arrest following the arraignment of Sanchez in Manhattan Criminal Court.
The long-term investigation was conducted by DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, Group T-12, and the New York City Police Department’s Firearms Investigations Unit. NYDETF Group T-12 is comprised of agents and officers with the DEA, the NYPD and the New York State Police.
At the time of his arrest on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at approximately 8:33 p.m., Sanchez was exiting a luxury apartment building where he resides at 550 West 54th Street. As agents and officers with NYDETF Group T-12 stopped him, Sanchez allegedly dropped a dog toy near a parked car. An officer retrieved the dog toy and found approximately 1,000 fentanyl pills secreted inside. The pills were imprinted to look like oxycodone.
During the investigation, Sanchez allegedly met with the undercover NYPD officer on four occasions and sold fentanyl pills and two guns. The first three meetings occurred behind and inside 635 West 42nd Street, another luxury apartment building where Sanchez previously resided. In the first sale, on August 5, 2021, Sanchez allegedly sold the undercover officer approximately 750 fentanyl pills imprinted to look like oxycodone and a piece of crystal methamphetamine in exchange for $6,000. On August 11, 2021, Sanchez allegedly provided the undercover officer with 250 fentanyl pills that were missing from the first transaction.
On October 28, 2021, Sanchez brought the undercover inside a penthouse apartment at 635 West 42nd Street and allegedly sold the undercover officer 400 fentanyl pills and a Taurus 9mm firearm with two magazines for $3,600.
The final sale occurred on March 3, 2022, in the vicinity of 550 West 54th Street, where Sanchez allegedly sold the undercover officer a Sig Sauer firearm with approximately 54 cartridges for $1,200.
On March 9, 2022, the undercover officer arranged to buy another 1,000 fentanyl pills from Sanchez. Members of NYDETF Group T-12 stopped Sanchez as he came out of his building carrying the dog toy containing the pills. A subsequent search of his apartment resulted in the seizure of 10 more fentanyl pills, a scale, money counter and multiple rounds of ammunition.
A criminal complaint filed by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor charges Sanchez with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third and Fifth Degrees, Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Third Degree, and Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan thanked Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and commended the work of her office’s Special Investigations Bureau, the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, the DEA, the NYPD’s Firearms Investigations Unit and the New York State Police for their work on the investigation.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said, “Sanchez is charged with selling guns and dealing counterfeit fentanyl pills from the comfort of his luxury apartments in Manhattan, as gun violence and drug overdose continue to surge in the city. I commend the NY DEA, NYPD, NYSP, our office and all of our law enforcement partners for working together to save lives in our city.”
DEA Acting SAC Tim Foley said, “This drug and gun dealer operated out of luxury apartments in the heart of mid-town. Concealing fentanyl pills in a dog toy was just one way Sanchez would deliver deadly doses to customers. The rising threat of drug overdoses and violence is being fueled by profiteers like Sanchez. Law enforcement collaboration is paramount in our efforts to remove drugs and weapons from our streets.”
NYPD Commissioner Sewell said, “Abuse of opioids and the deadly additive fentanyl has cut a wide swath across our nation, affecting people from all walks of life, in every community. To combat this scourge, the NYPD and its partners on the DEA’s Drug Enforcement Task Force are relentless in our efforts to shut down illegal drug supplies, to identify and arrest dealers and, ultimately, to save New Yorkers’ lives. We will continue working to rid our city of illegal drugs and guns, and bring to justice anyone who seeks to profit from their proliferation.”
New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said, “This case serves as an example of the tireless efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies to arrest those selling dangerous drugs and firearms on New York City’s streets. We have no tolerance for this activity and we will continue our partnership to target those seeking illegal profits while putting the safety of our communities at risk.”
CPCS 3rd – 1 ct
CSCS 3rd – 2 cts CSCS 3rd – 2 cts
CSCS 5th – 1 ct
Criminal Sale of a Firearm 3rd – 2 cts
Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia 2nd – 1 ct
The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.