Local police has recently busted a drug operation worth more than 1 million dollars consisting of heroin, coacine, and fentanyl, and is being considered by state and federal officials to be the biggest of its kind in this area.
Two men, both from Mexico, who were residing in this country illegally, have been charged with the distribution of controlled substances. Disguised as oxycodone, the pills were actually laced with fentanyl and heroin. Additional charges are coming, according to U.S. Attorney David Weiss.
For the past several months, investigators have been honing in on this drug operation that was funneling drugs from New Jersey into Northern Delaware and the Wilmington area. On August 21, the police searched the trailer home the two men were living in, in Gloucester City, New Jersey, and had arrested one of the two at the time. Police found a substantial amount of controlled substances within the trailer.
At the time of the seize, police had confiscated about 7 kilograms of heroin, 3 kilograms of cocaine, 14,000 fentanyl pills and $28,000 in cash. This amount of drugs alone possesses a street value higher than $1 million.
7 kilograms of heroin is estimated to produce around 2,310,000 doses (or baggies) of heroin, according to DEA specialists. Outside of the trailer was a Ford Focus that belonged to one of the men, Ricardo Perez-Guillen. Within that vehicle police found 2 more kilograms of heroin, hidden inside secret compartments. In total, between 9 and 10 kilograms were confiscated, which totals to around 3,135,000 doses of heroin.
This investigation was carried out by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Group 42, tactical diversion squad. Within this tactical diversion squad many police departments joined forces, including New Castle Police Department, Middletown Police Department, Newark Police, Delaware State Police, Wilmington Police, Delaware Probation Officers, Newport Police, University of Delaware Police Department, and others. Three men lead the investigation; John Stuart of Middletown Police Department, Jeremy Smithy of DEA, and Alex Ibrahim of United States Attorney Office.
DEA Special Agent Shawn Ellerman stated, “This is a substantial amount of narcotics that is in the state of Delaware,” he said. “This proves to us, as we always said, that there are high-trafficking organizations operating not around, but in Delaware itself.”
The two men behind the operation, Julian Rivera-Villa (56) and Ricardo Perez-Guillen (40) — both from Gloucester City, New Jersey — were suspected by police officer, John Stuart of Middletown, to be behind possible drug distribution. Both men are now being held in federal custody and currently face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
As U.S. Attorney David Weiss stated, the amount of “potential devastation” that could have been caused by this amount of drugs on our streets is incalculable.