Two Men Arrested for Possession of Fentanyl With Intent to Distribute
TRENTON, N.J. – Two men who were arrested with approximately one kilogram of fentanyl made their initial appearances today in Trenton federal court, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Arturo Galindo Gil, 36, and Gonzalo Ayona Avila, 41, are charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl. Both men appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni in Trenton federal court and were detained without bail.
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.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Cherry Hill office under the direction of Resident Agent in Charge Richard Reinhold, with the investigation leading to the arrests. He also thanked the Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Richard J. Buzby Jr.; and the Atlantic City Task Force (including the N.J. State Police, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Atlantic City Police Department) for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Fabiana Pierre-Louis, Attorney-in-Charge of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Trenton Branch.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.