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Press Release

California Man Charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Fentanyl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A California man was charged today with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Timothy Alan Blank, 54, of California is charged by complaint with one count of knowingly and intentionally possessing with the intent to distribute a quantity of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl in Bergen County, New Jersey, and elsewhere. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court and was detained.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On March 3, 2024, Blank traveled in an SUV from Los Angeles, California, to the District of New Jersey with approximately 5 kilograms of fentanyl inside of the vehicle. On March 8, 2024, New Jersey state law enforcement observed Blank commit a motor vehicle violation, and upon stopping the vehicle and conducting an inspection, located the narcotics within the trunk of the SUV.

The fentanyl count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. 

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of Homeland Security Investigations Newark, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Alfonso, with the investigation leading to the charge. He also thanked the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, the Fort Lee Police Department and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Vincent D. Romano of the U.S. Attorney’s Narcotics/Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Unit in Newark.

The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Updated March 11, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-090