NEWARK, N.J. – A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, man was indicted today on charges of possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl and cocaine, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Kenswick Austin, 45, is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl and one count of possession with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of cocaine. Austin was previously charged by complaint on March 31, 2020.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Between March 13, 2020, and March 28, 2020, Austin participated in multiple meetings and telephone calls to arrange the shipment to New Jersey of a package containing controlled substances. On March 30, 2020, the package arrived at an agreed-upon location, and Austin accompanied several other individuals to take possession of it. After a trained narcotics detection canine alerted to the presence of narcotics, law enforcement searched the package pursuant to a federal search warrant and found it to contain approximately one kilogram each of substances confirmed by laboratory testing to be fentanyl and cocaine.
The charge of possession with intent to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl carries a minimum punishment of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison, and a $10 million fine. The charge of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine carries a minimum punishment of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years in prison, and a $5 million fine.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents and task force officers of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason Molina, with the investigation leading to the charge. He also thanked the Bound Brook, New Jersey, Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Vito Bet, and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office’s Crime Suppression Unit, under the direction of Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, for their assistance in the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah A. Sulkowski of the Cybercrime Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.