Bronx: Vasquez Pena Sentenced to Distribute Fentanyl

Bronx, New York, Man, Jose Antonio Vasquez Pena Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison For Conspiring to Distribute Heroin and Fentanyl From a Bronx Drug Mill

NEWARK, N.J (STL.News) A Bronx, New York, man was sentenced today to 46 months in prison for participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl from a drug mill in the Bronx to locations in New Jersey, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Jose Antonio Vasquez Pena, a/k/a “Tono,” 48, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court to an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing fentanyl.  Judge Salas imposed the sentence by videoconference today.  Dilson Vazquez Genao, 23, Eddie Urena Rodriguez, 35, and Francisco Mercedes Gil, 31, also of the Bronx, New York, pleaded guilty before Judge Salas to the same charges in September 2019.  Daury Contreras Ulerio, 34, previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced in March 2020.

Two other individuals – Jhan Carlos Capellan Maldonado, 31, and Reimon Genao Rosario, 23 – were indicted on the same charge as Pena in August 2019.  Their cases are pending.

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

In early February 2019, law enforcement officers learned that Maldonado used an apartment in the Bronx to store, mix, and package heroin and fentanyl in distribution quantities.  Pena stayed at the apartment in order to safeguard the narcotics and narcotics supplies.  Maldonado employed approximately five workers at a time—including Rodriguez, Ulerio, Rosario, Gil, and Genao—to assist in preparing the heroin and fentanyl for distribution, which Maldonado then distributed to customers in New Jersey.

On Feb. 25, 2019, law enforcement officers saw Maldonado drive to a retail store and emerge with several full shopping bags and then drive to the apartment.  Genoa came out of the building and met with Maldonado, who got out of his vehicle and gave Genoa the plastic shopping bags.  Through its investigation, law enforcement later learned that the plastic shopping bags contained materials to package heroin and fentanyl.

Genoa went back inside the building and was followed by law enforcement officers, who watched as Genoa entered Maldonado’s apartment with a key, still carrying the shopping bags.  On Feb. 27, 2019, law enforcement searched Maldonado’s apartment and found seven individuals inside, including Rodriguez, Ulerio, Rosario, Gil, Maldonado, Pena, and Genao.  All seven defendants attempted to escape out a window, but all but one – Rosario – were apprehended and arrested by law enforcement officers waiting outside.  Rosario was arrested at a later date.  Law enforcement recovered nearly a kilogram of fentanyl from the apartment, along with materials to grind and package fentanyl for distribution.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)’s New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason S. Gould, Acting Chief of the Violent Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charge and allegations against Maldonado and Rosario are merely accusations, and those defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.