Queens Narcotics Major Case Squad recovered close to $10 million worth of the highly addictive fentanyl, cloaked in packaged fish, from a car they were trailing, outside Parkchester, during the night of Thursday, February 1.
Fentanyl is an illicitly produced synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin.
NYPD arrested Johnny De Los Santos Martinez after the drugs were found concealed in his 2017 white Acura MDX.
He’s being charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.
The bust took place near the intersection of Leland Avenue and Archer Street at around 7 p.m.
Two boxes were recovered by police, both containing Styrofoam coolers, with the larger cooler containing fish wrapped around two brick-shaped packages covered in green plastic and a brick-shaped package tucked into a bunch of chili.
The second cooler contained one brick-shaped package similarly wrapped with green plastic and fish.
NYPD had De Los Santos Martinez under surveillance in an investigation into drug trafficking in New York City.
Police officers spotted him in his car with the two boxes in the back seat.
After obtaining a search warrant police officers examined the contents of the boxes and vehicle.
Each of the brick-shaped packages consisted of a kilogram of fentanyl. The entire haul could have yielded over a million lethal doses.
The drugs are collectively worth up to $10 million on the street.
The wholesale value for the four kilograms of fentanyl is estimated at $100,000.
Fentanyl is increasingly being mixed into the black market drug supply in New York City and is frequently found in combination with heroin, cocaine and a variety of synthetic drugs.
When the police first seized the nine pounds of drugs they had initially suspected the goods to be cocaine, but were analysed as fentanyl after undergoing laboratory testing.
De Los Santos Martinez’ arraignment was in Manhattan Criminal Court on February 2, where bail was set at $150,000 cash or $250,000 bond.
He’s expected back in court on February 28.
The Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor has taken over the case.