Two Men Charged with Conspiring to Distribute Heroin

Two Men Charged with Conspiring to Distribute Heroin after Seizure of 20 Kilograms of Heroin from Mill in Paterson

NEWARK, N.J (STL.News) Two men will make their initial court appearances today after being arrested and charged in connection with a drug distribution conspiracy, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Luis Cepeda-Capellan, 25 of Paterson, New Jersey, and Isidro Fernandez, 32, of New York, are each charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin.  They are scheduled to appear this afternoon by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III.

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

During an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Drug Enforcement Task Force (NYDETF), law enforcement officers learned that Fernandez purchased significant quantities of items associated with the illegal manufacture and distribution of narcotics, including thousands of glassine bags, strainers, sifters, and scales.  On Feb. 25, 2021, law enforcement officers observed Fernandez receive boxes of items consistent with those used to transport drug paraphernalia, such as large quantities of glassine bags, in New York.  After obtaining the boxes, Fernandez traveled into New Jersey and delivered these boxes to an individual who brought them to Cepeda-Capellan’s residence.

On Feb. 26, 2021, law enforcement officers observed Cepeda-Capellan leave his residence carrying a brown paper bag, walk several blocks and enter a waiting vehicle.  Law enforcement officers ultimately stopped Cepeda-Capellan, approximately four kilograms of heroin located in the brown paper bag.  Law enforcement then arrested Fernandez, at Cepeda-Capellan’s residence, law enforcement also arrested Fernandez.  A subsequent search of Cepeda-Capellan’s residence yielded including approximately 16 kilograms of heroin, numerous stamps, thousands of glassine bags, strainers, sifters, scales, and items of drug paraphernalia.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison, and a fine of $10 million, or twice the amount of money involved in the offense, whichever is greater.

Acting U.S. Attorney Hoenig credited the NYDETF, which comprises special agents and task force officers of the DEA, New York City Police Department, and New York State Police,with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Travers of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force/Narcotics Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.