Dec. 8, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Two men were caught with two kilos of fentanyl in their car last week during a traffic stop in Bayside.
The men — Navarro Gonzalez, 26, of California, and Esquer, 48, of Jalisco, Mexico — were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and other crimes in Queens Criminal Court Friday.
Gonzalez was driving a silver Ford Escape with Esquer in the passenger seat near Northern Boulevard and 204th Street on Dec. 1 when he made a right turn without signaling, according to the Queens district attorney.
An officer pulled the car over for the traffic infraction and allegedly discovered fentanyl hidden in the vehicle. Cops then discovered the drug—in green saran wrap bricks—inside the passenger airbag, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said.
A police lab confirmed the substance recovered from the vehicle was fentanyl — a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine.
The use of fentanyl on its own or mixed in with other drugs has led to a significant uptick in overdose deaths across the nation—and in the borough—in recent years.
“Fentanyl has played a key role in the dramatic increase we’ve seen in fatal drug overdoses in Queens,” she said. “It is a dangerous drug that must be kept off our streets.”
Gonzalez and Esquer were arraigned Friday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Karen Gopee. They were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first, fifth and seventh degrees and a traffic violation.
They are set to return to court on Feb. 1. If convicted, they each face up to 20 years in prison.