Little Egg Harbor Twp. Cops Seize What Could Have Been 500,000 Fentanyl Pills
A traffic stop in Little Egg Harbor Township Monday resulted in cops seizing what could have been 500,000 fentanyl pills with a street value of at least $5 million.
Cops say they stopped a vehicle on County Route 539 near the George J. Mitchell School Monday. They arrested the driver on warrants and a search of the vehicle revealed approximately 1 kilogram of pure fenatayl, a synthetic opiod drug.
According to the DEA, 2.2 pounds (one kilogram) of pure fentanyl can make approximately 500,000 pills with a retail cost of $10-$20/pill. Monday’s seizure in Little Egg Harbor had a street value of at least $5 million.
On Tuesday, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, the two men who were arrested in connection to the traffic stop made their initial court appearances in Trenton.
36-year-old Arturo Galindo Gil and 41-year-old Gonzalo Ayona Avila are charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
During a law enforcement investigation of a drug trafficking organization operating in and around Ocean County, New Jersey, law enforcement officers learned that an individual, later identified as defendant Gil, was known to distribute large quantities of controlled substances, including fentanyl. On April 30, 2018, law enforcement officers learned that Gil was allegedly scheduled to be in Ocean County that day and in possession of a large quantity of fentanyl for distribution. Law enforcement officers identified Gil and another individual, later identified as Avila, driving around Little Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. Law enforcement initiated surveillance of the vehicle and officers with the Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department eventually initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle. They requested consent to search the vehicle and Gil provided signed consent. Law enforcement officers discovered approximately one kilogram of a tightly packaged substance believed to be fentanyl in the back seat of the vehicle. Law enforcement field-tested a sample of the substance and it tested positive for fentanyl.
The fentanyl distribution conspiracy charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life imprisonment, and a $10 million fine.