Over 110 Pounds of Fentanyl and Methamphetamine with a Street Value Worth Up to $10 Million Uncovered in the Bronx
An investigation into fentanyl trafficking in New York City resulted in a significant seizure of 33 kilograms (over 65 pounds) of suspected fentanyl, including thousands of fentanyl pills, and more than 29 kilograms (over 45 pounds) of suspected methamphetamine in an apartment in the University Heights neighborhood of the Bronx. The large stash of drugs carries an estimated street value of up to $10 million.
Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New Jersey Field Division (NJFD) Cheryl Ortiz and Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark announced the arrest of Joel NUNEZ-CAPELLAN following an investigation by DEA New Jersey Field Division and the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor (SNP).
A criminal complaint charges NUNEZ-CAPELLAN with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First and Second Degrees. NUNEZ-CAPELLAN was arrested on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, and arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court late yesterday. A judge ordered him remanded based on allegations that he attempted to flee law enforcement post-arrest.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said, “This major seizure of over 110 pounds of fentanyl and methamphetamine, worth upwards of $10 million and stashed in an apartment in the Bronx, is consistent with a dangerous trend that is sweeping the nation. The opioid epidemic is exacerbated by the proliferation of stimulants, like methamphetamine, which can thwart efforts to reverse overdoses and treat those suffering from substance use disorder. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to address the evolving drug crisis and intercept potentially lethal drugs before they hit the streets.”
“Fentanyl is the greatest threat to our country today, and it is safe to say that today’s seizure has saved countless lives. Based on DEA labs statistics and the size of this seizure, this amount of fentanyl has the potential of almost 2 million deadly doses. With the Thanksgiving Day Parade next week, these deadly doses are the equivalent of killing more than half the people in attendance,” DEA NJFD Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Ortiz said. “This seizure reflects the collaborative efforts of what our law enforcement partners can accomplish by working together. We will continue to do what we can to save lives and to target these individuals responsible for drug poisonings that our plaguing our communities. We are thankful for this partnership and remain committed to working with them.”
Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said, “Fentanyl and methamphetamine are coming into the Bronx and killing our neighbors at an alarming rate. We need to continue our focus on getting these drugs off our streets while holding traffickers accountable. I thank the office of Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan and the DEA for this diligent work which rid the Bronx of more than 110 pounds of deadly drugs.”
On November 14, 2023, at approximately 4:21 p.m., agents, officers and investigators with the DEA NJ Field Division and SNP were conducting surveillance and observed NUNEZ-CAPELLAN leave 2478 Grand Avenue carrying a white shopping bag. He allegedly entered a parked SUV in the vicinity of Davidson Avenue and West Fordham Road in the Bronx, where agents and officers approached the vehicle.
NUNEZ-CAPELLAN was allegedly in the backseat of the vehicle with the white bag nearby. Agents and officers recovered a brick-shaped, kilogram-sized package of suspected fentanyl from inside the bag. After NUNEZ-CAPELLAN was taken into custody he asked to use a bathroom and subsequently made an unsuccessful attempt to flee law enforcement.
Agents and investigators from DEA NJ Field Division and SNP obtained a search warrant for NUNEZ-CAPELLAN’s residence, located at 2478 Grand Avenue, Apartment 2, where a court-authorized search was conducted beginning at approximately 7:50 p.m.
Inside a bedroom closet, agents and officers found two suitcases that contained 12 brick-shaped, kilogram-sized packages of suspected fentanyl. Also in the suitcases were numerous vacuum sealed plastic bags and tinfoil wrappings containing suspected methamphetamine.
Four more kilogram-sized packages of fentanyl and bags containing thousands of purple fentanyl pills were found inside dresser drawers that also contained clothing. Approximately six additional kilograms of fentanyl were recovered from a tote bag.
The results of DEA and New York City Police Department (NYPD) laboratory analysis on the drugs seized are pending.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan thanked Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and commended SNP’s Special Investigations Bureau and Investigators Unit and DEA New Jersey Field Division for their work on the investigation.
CPCS 1st – 2 cts
CPCS 2nd – 1 ct
The charges and allegations are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.