California duo caught with $1 million fentanyl pills at JFK hotel

Two California men were arrested this week with a stash of 32,000 fentanyl pills worth $1 million at a John F. Kennedy Airport hotel, authorities said on Wednesday.

Roodolph Pierre-Lys, 33, and Uriel Barajas-Valencia, 50, were taken into custody Monday following a multi-agency investigation into drug trafficking, New York City Special Narcotics Attorney Bridget Brennan said in a news release.

Authorities said Barajas-Valencia orchestrated the delivery of the deadly pills to New York.

Both men were charged with criminal first- and third-degree possession of a controlled substance in Manhattan Criminal Court Tuesday and are being held on $50,000 bail or $100,000 bail, Brennan’s office said.

“Over the past few weeks, in cooperation with our law enforcement partners, we have seized hundreds of thousands of fentanyl pills and stolen millions of dollars from suppliers,” Brennan said in a statement.

Fentanyl Arrest.
Local and federal authorities said two California men were arrested Monday near JFK airport with $1 million worth of fentanyl.
Special Prosecutor for Narcotics fo
Authorities said the stash contained 32,000 pills.
Authorities said the stash contained 32,000 pills.
Special Prosecutor for Narcotics fo

“This seizure and the arrests of two California resident defendants near Kennedy Airport underscore our work to save lives.”

The investigation, being conducted in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York State Police and the Queens District Attorney’s Office, is the latest in a series of operations to stem the flow of the increasingly popular fentanyl into the region.

JFK International Airport.
Authorities have said Mexican drug cartels are behind the rise in fentanyl.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Earlier this month, Chelsea authorities arrested an alleged drug dealer with 20,000 rainbow-colored fentanyl pills – part of a worrying trend of targeting children by making the dangerous drugs look like candy.

Federal officials said this week that Mexican drug cartels have turned Los Angeles into a major national distribution center for fentanyl. California duo caught with $1 million fentanyl pills at JFK hotel


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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