1 Million Lethal Doses of Fentanyl Found Stuffed in Fish, Chili: Authorities

Federal authorities are highlighting some of the ways smugglers move powerful opioids such as fentanyl into the tri-state. Marc Santia reports.

(Published Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018)

What to Know

  • A million lethal doses of fentanyl worth up to $10 million were found wrapped inside fish in the back of a car in NYC, authorities say

  • Police obtained a search warrant for the car in connection with an ongoing investigation, and found Styrofoam coolers inside the two boxes

  • The bigger cooler had fish wrapped around two brick-shaped packages covered in green plastic; a third package was hidden

One million lethal doses of fentanyl worth up to $10 million were found wrapped inside fish in the back of a car as police conducted surveillance on a man in the Bronx during a drug trafficking investigation, authorities say.

Detectives were monitoring Johnny de Los Santos-Martinez when they saw him in a white 2017 Acura MDX at Leland Avenue and Archer Street in Parkchester with two boxes in the back seat, the city's narcotics prosecutor says.

These images show how the drugs were concealed. (Published Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018)

Police obtained a search warrant for the car, and found Styrofoam coolers inside the two boxes. The bigger cooler had fish wrapped around two brick-shaped packages covered in green plastic, and a third brick-shaped package concealed in a vacuum-sealed package of chili, police said.

The second cooler contained one brick-shaped package similarly wrapped with green plastic and fish.

The brick-shaped packages each consisted of about 2.2 pounds of fentanyl, authorities said. Authorities initially thought the powder was cocaine, but lab tests later showed it was actually the synthetic opioid that's up to 50 times stronger than heroin.

The wholesale value for the four packages of fentanyl is estimated at $100,000.

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Fentanyl is increasingly being mixed into the black-market drug supply in New York City, and frequently found in combination with heroin, cocaine and synthetic durgs.

Los Santos-Martinez was arraigned on criminal possession of a controlled substance charges in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday, with bail set at $150,000. He's next scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 28.

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Attorney information for the man wasn't immediately available.