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Somerset County man charged with distributing fentanyl resulting in four deaths

SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ – A Somerset County man was arrested for distributing fentanyl that resulted in four deaths and distributing cocaine, according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.

Mauricio Gutierrez, 50, of Somerset was charged with two counts of distribution of fentanyl that resulted in a death and one count of distribution of cocaine.  Gutierrez made had his initial appearance Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III in Newark federal court and was detained, Sellinger said.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, on June 24, 2022, Gutierrez distributed controlled substances containing fentanyl in at least two separate transactions.

The first individual to whom Gutierrez distributed fentanyl used it, along with two other individuals. Shortly thereafter the three victims were located in a vehicle that was parked outside an establishment in North Brunswick, and all three were unresponsive.

Two victims were pronounced dead and the third victim died two days later. Law enforcement located a white powder, which was determined to contain fentanyl, inside the vehicle.

In a separate transaction, Gutierrez distributed fentanyl to another individual who was located shortly thereafter in a vehicle in Franklin Township. The victim was unresponsive and was pronounced dead at the scene. Law enforcement located a white powder, which was determined to contain fentanyl, inside the vehicle.

Subsequent toxicology reports determined that the victims had lethal amounts of fentanyl in their blood.

On Sept. 27, 2023, law enforcement officials arrested Gutierrez after observing him engage in a hand-to-hand narcotics sale in Piscataway. The controlled substance that Gutierrez distributed tested positive for cocaine.

The charges of drug distribution resulting in death each carry a maximum potential penalty of life imprisonment and a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison. The charge of distributing controlled substances carries a maximum penalty of 20 years. The three charges each carry a fine of up to $1 million.

The investigations leading to these charges is part of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force’s (OCDETF) operations. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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