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Press Release

Two Men Indicted for Operating Large-Scale Heroin Mill in Penthouse of Fort Lee, New Jersey, Luxury High-Rise

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

NEWARK, N.J. – Two men were indicted today for operating a heroin mill out of a penthouse apartment unit in luxury, residential high-rise tower in Fort Lee, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Richard Fernandez, 36, and Carlos Mosquea-Diaz, 36, are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and fentanyl. Fernandez is also charged with possession of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. 

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

On Oct. 3, 2018, Mosquea-Diaz was arrested in the parking lot of the apartment building by a vehicle that contained in its trunk a wine box containing approximately $130,000. In a trash room on the 42nd floor of the apartment building, agents recovered more than 10 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl. On the same floor, a penthouse apartment sublet by Fernandez contained a loaded firearm and several thousand dollars, as well as numerous ledgers, money counters, cutting agents, and other drug distribution and packaging paraphernalia.  

The conspiracy count with which the defendants are charged carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison, and a fine of up to $10 million. The weapons count with which Fernandez is charged carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, and a maximum of life in prison, that must be served upon completion of any sentence for the drug offense.     

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Valerie A. Nickerson, with the investigation leading to today’s indictment.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Macurdy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Updated January 31, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 19-008