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32 Kilos of Fentanyl, Valued at Nearly $29 Million, Seized in Methuen Raid

BOSTON - Law enforcement arrested two men Monday and seized 32 kilos of fentanyl -- more than 70 pounds -- valued at an estimated $28.8 million during a narcotics raid on a residence in Methuen.

The two men, Angel Javier Morell-Oneill, 33, and Jose A. Rodriguez, 41, are each charged with trafficking fentanyl, according to the office of U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew E. Lelling.

Morell-Oneill is also charged with possession of more than 400 grams of fentanyl with intent to distribute while Rodriguez is charged with conspiracy to possess fentanyl with intent to distribute.

Each man is a Dominican national.

According to prosecutors, Morell-Oneill had been under investigation for drug trafficking since June. The investigation led to his car being stopped in Methuen, and found found two kilos of fentanyl in the car.

This led to obtaining a search warrant for Morell-Oneill's home, where officials found 30 more kilos of fentanyl, along with drug materials and a loaded gun.

Rodriguez was arrested at the residence when he arrived to pay money owed for the transportation of a drug shipment that had been delivered to Morello-Oneill, officials said. Investigators found $20,000 in cash hidden in a secret compartment in Rodriguez's car.

If convicted Rodriguez could be sentenced to up to 20 years in federal prison. Morell-Oneill could be sentenced to between 10 years and life in prison.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more potent than heroin. It is commonly mixed with heroin or cocaine to make them more potent. Fentanyl is widely blamed as contributing to the epidemic of fatal opioid overdoses nationally.

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