By Jonathan Sperling
He’s accused of trying to make a quick buck a party drug on the streets of Queens — now he may be rolling into prison.
Alfredo Rodriguez, 33, was charged with conspiring to distribute and attempting to possess with the intent to distribute, N-ethylpentylone, a Schedule I controlled substance that he believed to be “Molly,” the street name for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Rodriguez was charged in Brooklyn federal court on Monday.
“This is another case where interagency cooperation has stopped the attempted
international distribution of a dangerous ‘designer’ drug, in this case one mimicking Ecstasy,”
Angel M. Melendez, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge, said in a statement. “Whether via the Internet or regular mail, HSI and cooperating agencies are penetrating these operations, no matter how big or how small, on a regular basis and bringing the individuals involved to justice.”
Rodriguez allegedly purchased the chemical from a supplier in China earlier this year, believing it to be Molly — also known as “MDMA” or “ecstasy” — so that he could sell it to another distributor. Officials from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol intercepted the package when it arrived in the United States in July. Upon examination, CBP agents found more than 2,000 grams of N-ethylpentylone, which can closely resemble Molly in appearance and is often sold on the street as such, according to court filings.
Law enforcement agents removed the N-ethylpentylone from the package and replaced it with a product that resembled the controlled substance before delivering the package to an address in Jamaica.
After Rodriguez accepted the package, he was arrested.
“The proactive efforts of our law enforcement partners slammed the door shut on
the defendant’s efforts to obtain this dangerous drug, shipped by mail from China, to be sold on
our streets,” U.S. Eastern District of New York Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said in a statement. “This indictment demonstrates the commitment by the Department of Justice and our partners in law enforcement to combat the drug epidemic in our nation, enforcing zero tolerance for controlled substances, whether they are grown in a field or created in a laboratory.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon supervised Rodriguez’ arraignment on Monday. The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Section. Assistant United States Attorney Justina L. Geraci is in charge of the prosecution.
If convicted, Rodriguez faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the two counts listed in the indictment.