NEWARK, NJ – A Watchung man was indicted Wednesday for his role in a large-scale heroin trafficking operation that involved the movement of large sums of money, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

William T. Bouza, 46, of Watchung, New Jersey, is charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl, two counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Bouza was previously charged by complaint. He will be arraigned on a date to be determined.

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

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In February 2019, Bouza arranged for a vehicle equipped with a secret compartment, or “trap,” containing 15 kilograms of heroin, to be shipped from California to a location in Union County. Law enforcement officers intercepted the vehicle, seized the narcotics, and arranged for a controlled delivery. They observed Bouza enter the area, but he departed prior to taking possession of the vehicle.

In October 2019, law enforcement officers determined that Bouza was storing and processing narcotics for street-level distribution at multiple locations in Essex County. They approached Bouza, who fled in a motor vehicle. He was apprehended approximately one week later. Law enforcement officers subsequently discovered approximately 1,000 packages, or “bricks” of heroin, each containing approximately 50 individual doses, in one of Bouza’s stash houses.

Lab testing confirmed the presence of fentanyl in a portion of these items. The investigation also revealed that Bouza was in possession of approximately $400,000 in cash and was responsible for the illicit transfer of well over $800,000 in narcotics proceeds.

The controlled substances offenses carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison and a $10 million fine. The money laundering offense carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

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