Nearly Nine Pounds of Fentanyl Found Hidden in Fish

fentanyl in fish      fentanyl in fish and chili

Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) announced the seizure of four kilograms of fentanyl (nearly 9 lbs.) wrapped inside fish.

Detectives with the NYPD’s Queens Narcotics Major Case Squad arrested defendant JOHNNY DE LOS SANTOS-MARTINEZ and recovered the fentanyl on February 1, 2018 from a vehicle near the intersection of Leland Avenue and Archer Street in the Parkchester neighborhood of the Bronx. The narcotics were initially suspected to be cocaine, but subsequent laboratory analysis by the NYPD revealed that the drug recovered was fentanyl, an illicitly produced synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times as strong as heroin.

Prior to the arrest, detectives were conducting surveillance on DE LOS SANTOS-MARTINEZ as part of an investigation into drug trafficking in New York City when they observed him in a 2017 white Acura MDX with two boxes in the back seat. Police obtained a court authorized search warrant for the packages and the vehicle and conducted the search at approximately 7 p.m. on February 1, 2018.

Inside both boxes were Styrofoam coolers. The larger of the two coolers contained fish wrapped around two brick shaped packages covered in green plastic, with a third brick shaped package concealed in a vacuum-sealed package of what appeared to be chili. The second cooler contained one brick shaped package similarly wrapped with green plastic and fish.

The brick shaped packages each consisted of a kilogram of fentanyl and together could have yielded over a million lethal doses worth up to $10 million dollars on the street. The wholesale value for four kilograms of fentanyl is estimated at $100,000. Fentanyl is increasingly being mixed into the black market drug supply in New York City and is frequently found in combination with heroin, cocaine and a variety of synthetic drugs.

JOHNNY DE LOS SANTOS-MARTINEZ was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on February 2, 2018, with bail set at $150,000 cash or $250,000 bond. The next court date is February 28, 2018. The Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor is prosecuting the case.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan thanked her office’s Special Investigations Bureau, the New York City Police Department, the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and the office of Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark.

The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendants is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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Kati Cornell
Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
(212) 815-0525

Stephen Davis
New York City Police Department
(646) 610-6700