IRVINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ(Essex County) – New Jersey State Police Auto Theft Task Force arrested 2 Irvington residence on Tuesday and shut down a narcotics processing mill, seized narcotics and weapons, state police said.
Juan Rodriguez, 43, and Beatrice Sepulveda, 29, both of Irvington Township were charged with maintaining and operating a CDS production facility, receiving stolen property, possession with intent to distribute CDS, possession of a firearm while committing a CDS crime, possession of CDS, possession of a firearm silencer, possession of hollow-point ammunition and possession with intent to use CDS.
On Monday a commercial box truck was reported stolen in Montville Township in Morris County. The Montville Police Department and detectives from the Auto Theft Task Force were able to locate the stolen vehicle on Grove Street in Irvington, state police said.
During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Rodriguez and Sepulveda were allegedly in possession of the stolen truck. On Tuesday, the task force executed a search warrant at the couple’s residence on Grove Street where they were arrested without incident, state police said.
While searching the residence, detectives seized 27 pounds of fentanyl pills, 2 kilograms of powder fentanyl, 1 kilogram of bath salts, 1 ounce of heroin, 50 bricks of packaged heroin, drug production and packaging paraphernalia, a 9 mm handgun, hollow point ammunition, a firearms suppressor, body armor, and more than $20,000 cash. Detectives additionally recovered $325,000 worth of stolen tools and boxes of wood flooring, which was originally inside the box truck, state police said.
“Lives were undoubtedly saved as a result of this huge seizure of fentanyl pills and powder,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “Far too many people are dying in New Jersey from overdoses of fentanyl, as drug dealers recklessly mix this super-potent opioid with heroin or substitute it for heroin or oxycodone. We are aggressively targeting those who profit from this deadly drug, and these arrests by the State Police Auto Theft Task Force, assisted by the Montville Police, are a great example of those efforts.”
“We know that just trace amounts of fentanyl coming into contact with skin is enough to sicken or kill an adult, which really puts the magnitude of this seizure into perspective,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “The amount of fentanyl seized alone as a result of this investigation had the potential to kill hundreds of thousands people, including police officers, first responders or unsuspecting children. We will continue to work with our partners to aggressively pursue those who seek to flood our streets with deadly narcotics.”
“This seizure of such a large amount fentanyl will undoubtedly save countless lives. Fentanyl is an extremely lethal substance that poses a serious risk not only to the public at large but also to law enforcement and other first responders who come into contact with the substance. The officers who conducted this operation faced an increased risk due to the substantial amount of fentanyl at the arrest location. As our state and county are dealing with an opioid crisis, the seizure of this amount of fentanyl and heroin will hopefully limit the amount of these substances available for sale in the illicit drug markets. This office will continue to partner with the New Jersey State Police and other law enforcement agencies as we work towards removing dangerous drugs from our streets,” said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, who added that his office “will aggressively prosecute those arrested in this matter.”
Rodriguez and Sepulveda were lodged at Essex County Correctional Facility pending a bail detention hearing.