Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Frank A. Tarentino III, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), announced that JUSTO VARGAS was charged for possessing nearly 20 kilograms of fentanyl with the intent to distribute it, in concert with others. VARGAS was arrested on Sunday and presented yesterday before Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, the defendant conspired to distribute fentanyl, one of the deadliest drugs on Earth. Thanks to our law enforcement partners, nearly 20 kilograms of this poison have been taken off the street.”
As alleged in the Complaint:
On or about November 13, 2022, VARGAS met with a confidential source to sell that confidential source approximately 19 kilograms of fentanyl. VARGAS arrived at the Cross County Center parking lot in Yonkers, New York, and parked adjacent to the confidential source’s vehicle. The parties exited their respective vehicles and stood next to the open trunk of VARGAS’s vehicle, which contained what appeared to the confidential source to be 19 kilograms of fentanyl. Agents and officers then intervened and arrested VARGAS and seized the fentanyl, which is pictured below:
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VARGAS, 31, of New York, New York, is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute 400 grams and more of fentanyl and one count of conspiring to do the same. Those offenses carry mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in prison and maximum potential sentences of life in prison.
The mandatory minimum and maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding work of the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force comprising agents and officers of the DEA, New York City Police Department, and New York State Police. Mr. Williams also thanked the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Yonkers Police Department for their assistance in this case.
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Arad is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
 As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint, and the description of the Complaint set forth herein, constitutes only allegations, and every fact described therein should be treated as an allegation.