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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Fentanyl Trafficker Arrested In Manhattan

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Frank A. Tarentino III, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), Keechant L. Sewell, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), and Steven A. Nigrelli, the Acting Superintendent of the New York State Police (“NYSP”), announced that AGARI REYES-SILLERO was arrested while attempting to sell approximately 50,000 multicolored fentanyl pills to a cooperating witness in exchange for $400,000.  REYES-SILLERO was arrested on Monday and was presented today before Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “The pills the defendant allegedly attempted to sell were bright and colorful, which obscured their true danger.  The 50,000 pills seized by law enforcement contained fentanyl, one of the deadliest drugs on the planet.  Thanks to the work of our law enforcement partners, these lethal drugs have now been taken off the street.”

DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Frank A. Tarentino III said: “Fake counterfeit prescription pills are flooding this city.  Fentanyl is the deadliest drug to ever hit the streets and traffickers are masking the threat by selling lethal doses in colorful pill forms mimicking prescription medication.  DEA analysis indicates that 60% of trafficked fentanyl pills on the street contain lethal doses; therefore, 30,000 deadly doses were removed from circulation by the hardworking members of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force.  I commend our law enforcement partners for their hard work on this investigation.”

NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said: “The NYPD and our law enforcement partners will never waver in our commitment to rid New York of fentanyl.  Anyone who displays the negligent depravity to sell this deadly poison on our streets – to put lives at risk for a profit – will be held fully accountable.  I commend and thank for their exceptional work the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, the DEA, the New York State Police, and every member of the NYDETF involved in this important case.”

NYSP Acting Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli said: “I commend the vital collaborative work of our law enforcement partners in the relentless efforts to keep illegal drugs off our streets.  The arrest of Ms. Reyes-Sillero reinforces that we will continue to be vigilant in stopping the flow of these dangerous drugs into our neighborhoods.  Each arrest, each seizure is saving lives and decreases the additional crime that surrounds these illegal and dangerous operations.”

As alleged in the Complaint:[1]

On or about February 5, 2023, REYES-SILLERO met with a witness who was cooperating with law enforcement (“CW-1”) to sell CW-1 approximately 50,000 fentanyl pills.  After entering CW-1’s car with the pills, REYES-SILLERO confirmed that CW-1 was to pay $400,000.  Law enforcement agents arrested REYES-SILLERO and seized the fentanyl pills, which were packaged inside four protein powder containers, as pictured below:

Rainbow pills concealed in container


Rainbow colored pills in bags

*                *                *

REYES-SILLERO, 34, of Mexico, is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute 400 grams and more of fentanyl.  This offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum term of life in prison.

The minimum and maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentence will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA, the NYPD, and the New York State Police. 

This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick R. Moroney and Andrew W. Jones are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint constitutes only allegations, and every fact described herein should be treated as an allegation.

Drug Trafficking
Nicholas Biase (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
Updated February 9, 2023