A New York man was held overnight by Methuen police on charges of trafficking 15 kilograms of fentanyl, worth about $1.2 million.
It was the city’s second major incident in a three-day span relating to the dangerous opiate. On Saturday, police responded to a case of fentanyl exposure involving a 10-month old baby.
Robinson Rojas-Rosario, 32, of Queens, N.Y. was arrested Monday morning in Methuen, shortly after police responded to a 911 call, at 8:41 a.m., reporting a man with a gun in a taxi on Glen Avenue, according to police Chief Joseph E. Solomon.
“The caller was able to give a detailed description of the man, who allegedly got out of the taxi, retrieved a gun from a duffel bag and concealed it on his person before re-entering the vehicle,” the chief said.
According to a statement, investigators found Rojas-Rosario with a duffel bag while in the back seat of a taxi, where 15 kilograms of fentanyl was also found.
Rojas-Rosario was held on $100,000 bail at the Methuen police station pending arraignment Tuesday in Lawrence District Court.
“Thanks to the keen observations of this witness and the quick response from police, we were able to take an extremely large amount of fentanyl off of our streets,” Solomon said. “This is a great example of why we tell people to say something if they see something.”
A 10-month old girl is in stable condition at Tufts Medical Center, Boston, after first responders found the baby unconscious and not breathing Saturday in her home on Treetop Way in Methuen. She was taken to Lawrence General Hospital, where she was twice revived by hospital staff, then flown to Boston for more treatment. Solomon said tests indicated the baby had fentayl in her system.
Police are withholding the mother’s identity.
“As of now she has not been charged with any crime,” Solomon said Monday evening, referring to the baby’s mother. “The investigation is ongoing and we will be working with the state Department of Children and Families.”