FLEMINGTON, NJ – Two men have admitted their roles in a drug distribution conspiracy after the seizure of fentanyl and heroin at a Bloomsbury rest stop, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Luis Aponte, 48, of Riverside, California, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Peter Sheridan in Trenton federal court to one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and heroin, Carpenito said in a press release. Denny Diaz, 29, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty before the judge last month.
According to the documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
Authorities seized more than 40 pounds of fentanyl at the time of the arrest on March 1. Aponte drove a tractor-trailer truck to the rest stop, where he met Diaz in a car and gave Diaz about 13 pounds of fentanyl.
Law enforcement officers searched Aponte’s truck at the rest stop, and found an additional fentanyl – more than 4 pounds – and heroin, about 11 pounds.
The charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. The maximum penalty is life in prison; they can also be fined up to $10 million each.
Sentencing for Diaz is set for Dec. 16 and Aponte is scheduled for sentencing on Feb. 6, 2020.
Carpenito credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan, New York Division; New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill; and N.Y. State Police Acting Superintendent Keith M. Corlett with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas.
This case is being investigated by the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, comprising agents and officers of the DEA, New York City Police Department and New York State Police.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Macurdy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.