Members of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force seized 44 pounds of heroin in Paterson while arresting two men after learning that one of them bought a huge amount of materials used to package the drug for on-street sale, authorities said.
Luis Cepeda-Capellan, 25, was carrying nearly nine pounds of the drug – enough to fill more than 81,500 individual heroin folds – when agents moved in and captured him during a stop in Paterson late last week, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said Monday.
They found 35 more pounds of heroin – enough to fill nearly 320,000 more envelopes – in Cepeda-Capellan’s nearby apartment, where they arrested Isidro Fernandez, 32, Honig said.
Both men were due for video-conferenced first hearings on major drug conspiracy charges Monday before a U.S. magistrate judge in Newark.
Agents and officers with the NYDETF got wise to the pair after learning that Fernandez bought thousands of the glassine bags, along with “significant quantities” of strainers, sifters, scales and other packaging materials, Honig said.
They were watching last week as Fernandez took delivery of the materials in New York and then handed them off to an unidentified participant who brought them to Cededa-Capellan’s home, Honig said.
They were also there when Cepeda-Capellan left his home the next day, walked several blocks and got into a waiting vehicle carrying a brown paper bag, the U.S. attorney said.
They found four kilos of heroin in the bag when they stopped him, Honig said.
They then raided his home and seized Fernandez, as well.
Honig credited special agents and task force officers from the DEA, NYPD and New York State Police with the investigation leading to the charges.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Travers of her Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force/Narcotics Unit is handling the case.
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