WHITE PLAINS – A man,
whose hometown address is unknown, has been arrested by federal authorities
and charged with engaging in a conspiracy to receive and traffic kilograms
of fentanyl throughout the United States. Many of the transactions were
conducted through post office branches in the Middletown area.
Chukwuemeka Okparaeke, also known as “Emeka,” 28, and others,
allegedly received massive quantities of fentanyl from suppliers abroad,
repackaged them into small quantities, and shipped them to customers using
the post offices in Orange County as well as others in New Jersey.
He allegedly operated as “Fentmaster” through the use of a
“darknet” website known as AlphaBay Marketplace.
He was arrested Monday in Kearny, New Jersey.
It is alleged that between at least October 2016 through March 2017, he
was investigated by federal authorities from a number of agencies including
the Postal Service, Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security
Investigations, Customs and Border Protection, the Fairfax County, Virginia
Police Department and the Middletown, NY Police Department.
Emeka is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute large quantities
of fentanyl, which carries between 10 years to life in prison.
During their investigation, authorities found Emeka purchased thousands
of dollars worth of postage stamps and mailed envelopes, usually 40 at
a time, with each bearing a $6.45 “La Cueva del Indio” Priority
Mail stamp. The return address on the envelopes he mailed from the Middletown
area post offices all carried the Middletown Sweets, 110 Crystal Run Road,
Middletown, New York 10941 address, which is actually in the Town of Wallkill.
There is no Middletown Sweets located there, authorities said.
The feds learned through surveillance that Emeka’s vehicle was registered
to him and that when he went to post office branches to pick up packages,
he identified himself as such.
When questioned after being intercepted while leaving the Middletown Police
Office on February 1, he was brought to the Middletown City Police Station,
read his Miranda rights and agreed to talk to law enforcement officials.
He told them he was unaware of what was in the packages and that he was
paid by an anonymous individual and that he was to forward them to a recipient
named “Xavier Johnson.”
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