Two Bronx, New York, men were sentenced yesterday to 29 months in prison each for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl to buyers in New Jersey.
Eddy Urena Rodriguez, 36, and Francisco Mercedes Gil, 33, both previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court to informations charging them with one count of conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing fentanyl.
Judge Salas imposed the sentences by videoconference on Wednesday, August 18, 2021.
Dilson Vazquez Genao, 25, also of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced on the same charge last month to 29 months in prison.
Two other individuals – Jhan Carlos Capellan Maldonado, 31, and Reimon Genao Rosario, 23 – were indicted on the same charge in August 2019. Their cases are pending.
According to U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig, documents filed in this case and statements made in court, law enforcement officers learned in early February 2019 that Maldonado used an apartment in the Bronx to store, mix, and package heroin and fentanyl in distribution quantities.
Maldonado employed Genao, Gil, Rodriguez, Daury Contreras Ulerio, and Rosario, to assist in preparing the heroin and fentanyl for distribution to customers in New Jersey. Jose Vasquez Pena lived at the apartment in order to safeguard the narcotics and narcotics supplies.
On Feb. 25, 2019, law enforcement officers saw Maldonado drive to a retail store and emerge with several full shopping bags and then drive to the apartment.
Genoa came out of the building and met with Maldonado, who got out of his vehicle and gave Genoa the plastic shopping bags.
Through its investigation, law enforcement later learned that the plastic shopping bags contained materials to package heroin and fentanyl.
Genoa went back inside the building and was followed by law enforcement officers, who watched as Genoa entered Maldonado’s apartment with a key, still carrying the shopping bags.
On Feb. 27, 2019, law enforcement officers searched Maldonado’s apartment and found seven individuals inside: including Genao, Gil, Rodriguez, Ulerio, Rosario, Maldonado, and Pena.
All seven defendants attempted to escape out a window in the bedroom.
All but one—Rosario—were apprehended and arrested by law enforcement officers waiting outside. Rosario was arrested at a later date.
Law enforcement authorities recovered nearly a kilogram of fentanyl from the apartment, along with materials to grind and package fentanyl for distribution.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)’s New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina in Newark, was credited with the investigation leading to the charges.