Brooklyn Man Arrested for Distributing Fentanyl
Opioids Sold by Defendant Linked to Fatal Overdose Of 25-Year-Old
A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in the Eastern District of New York charging Caleb Apolinaris, also known as “Kappa,” with distributing fentanyl in Brooklyn, New York, including to a 25-year-old individual who died of a drug-related overdose hours later at his residence. Apolinaris was arrested earlier today in Brooklyn, New York, and his initial appearance is scheduled for this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Marcia M. Henry.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Keechant L. Sewell, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the arrest and charges.
“As alleged, Apolinaris sold the fatal fentanyl that directly led to another individual joining the rapidly growing list of victims of overdose deaths,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “This Office will continue to prosecute traffickers dealing lethal drugs to protect our community and bring justice for the victims and families devastated by the opioid scourge.”
“Fentanyl is a federally controlled substance, administered by professionals in medical fields, because of its potency and mortal consequences if abused. It is not a recreational drug to be passed around at parties. Thousands of people are dying because drug dealers are unapologetically pushing fentanyl laced products. We will arrest these criminals, one by one if need be, and do all we can to end the cycle of dependence and death,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll.
“Illegal drugs, especially ones as potently deadly as fentanyl, have no place in our city,” said NYPD Commissioner Sewell. “And any person who displays the recklessness to deal these drugs, and the negligent depravity to put lives at risk for profit, must be held fully accountable. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, the FBI’s New York Field Office, and all of our investigators for their outstanding work on this case.”
As alleged in the complaint, on April 12, 2022, Apolinaris sold at least 11 glassine envelopes of fentanyl and a fentanyl/para-fluorofentanyl mixture to a 25-year-old individual (Victim-1), who died of a drug-related overdose hours later at his residence in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Ten glassine envelopes containing fentanyl and a fentanyl/para-fluorofentanyl mixture were found near Victim-1’s body in his wallet. Law enforcement officers obtained video from surveillance cameras outside Apolinaris’s residence and surrounding neighborhood from the night of April 11, 2022 and early morning of April 12, 2022. The video showed Victim-1 meeting with Apolinaris to purchase the narcotics. A search of Victim-1’s phone revealed text messages between Apolinaris and Victim-1. In the hours preceding the transaction, Victim-1 texted Apolinaris, “Aight be up for me bro please I’m getting a taxi straight to urs should be like a hour at most.” Apolinaris responded, “I got you 100%.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Justice, in 2019, nearly 71,000 people died from drug overdoses, making it a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. The increase in overdose deaths has been driven in large part by fentanyl – a drug that has been described as 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. In 2019, over 14,000 people died in the United States from a drug overdose involving heroin. From 2013 to 2019, the synthetic opioid death rate increased by more than 1,000 percent. Of those deaths, over 70% involved a prescription or illicit opioid. Among New York State residents, the number of overdose deaths involving any opioid increased each year between 2010 and 2017, with an overall increase of 200.2 percent from 1,074 in 2010 to 3,224 in 2017, according to the New York State Health Department.
If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse please call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or go to Findtreatment.gov.
The charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Apolinaris faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and up to life in prison.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. As part of the program, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and their local communities to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Section. Assistant United States Attorney John O. Enright is in charge of the prosecution.
CALEB APOLINARIS (also known as “Kappa” and “CalebKappaNewDogfood”)
Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 22-MJ-811