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Arrests Made in NJ ‘Operation Table for Two’ Which Seized More than $1M Worth of Drugs

New Jersey

By: Yuritza Arroyo

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced the arrest of two individuals and the seizure of more than 12 kilos of fentanyl in the takedown of two drug manufacturing facilities operating in Passaic and Hudson counties.


According to officials, also seized were 10 pounds of marijuana and indicia of distribution.

Officials say the arrests are the result of “Operation Table for Two,” a three-month investigation led by the New Jersey State Police (NJSP), with assistance from the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ).

Edwin Mercedes, 39, his twin brother Edwal Mercedes, 39, and Carlos Pena Peralta, 22, all residents of North Bergen, NJ, are charged with maintaining a fentanyl production facility (1st degree), possession with intent to distribute fentanyl (2nd degree), possession with intent to distribute marijuana (2nd degree), and other offenses related to their alleged controlled dangerous substance (CDS) manufacturing operation. 

According to documents filed in the case, detectives with the NJSP Drug Trafficking North Unit began a fentanyl trafficking investigation targeting Edwin and Edwal Mercedes.

Documents state that through various investigative means and with assistance from USPIS, detectives determined that the Mercedes brothers and Pena Peralta were operating a CDS production facility from the residence they shared on 46th Street in North Bergen and from an apartment on Passaic Avenue in Passaic. 

On April 11, NJSP executed search warrants at the North Bergen and Passaic locations simultaneously.

At the Passaic address, detectives seized 12 kilos of raw fentanyl with a street value of more than $1.2 million. At the North Bergen address, detectives seized more than 10 pounds of marijuana with a street value of approximately $20,000, hydraulic equipment for pressing kilos of fentanyl, imprint face plates for stamping CDS, cutting agents, and evidence of fentanyl packaging. 

According to authorities, prior to the execution of the search warrants, Edwal Mercedes was arrested during a traffic stop by NJSP detectives and found to be in possession of more than $10,000, believed to be derived from illegal means.

Authorities say Pena Peralta was arrested at the North Bergen address. The two men were transported to State Police Totowa Substation for processing and are being held in the Bergen County jail pending a detention hearing.

Edwin Mercedes is being sought as a fugitive.

In addition to the aforementioned charges, all three defendants are charged with possession with intent to distribute CDS within 1,000 feet of school property (2nd degree), possession with intent to distribute CDS within 500 feet of a public park (2nd degree), conspiracy to maintain a CDS production facility (2nd degree), conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute CDS (two counts, 3rd degree), possession of fentanyl (3rd degree), possession of marijuana over six ounces (4th degree), and possession of CDS paraphernalia (disorderly persons).

Edwal Mercedes is additionally charged with money laundering (3rd degree) and possession of a fictitious NJ driver’s license (4th degree).