On Wednesday, 48-year old Kearny resident Sean Tighe admitted his role as a member of a drug trafficking organization responsible for the importation and distribution of hundreds of kilograms of fentanyl analogues.

United States Attorney Philip Sellinger says Tighe pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton in Newark federal court to a second superseding indictment charging him with drug trafficking conspiracy and international promotional money laundering conspiracy.

According to a press release from the U. S. Attorney’s Office, “Tighe admitted that from March 2014 through September 2020, he and others agreed to import and distribute various controlled substances and controlled substance analogues, including fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, synthetic cathinones, also known as “bath salts,” such as ethylone, and ketamine. Members of the conspiracy placed orders with a source in China and agreed to distribute, and did distribute, the controlled substances and analogues in New Jersey. Tighe admitted that other members of the conspiracy provided him with controlled substances and analogues pressed into small pills for distribution.”

Sellinger says the defendants allegedly paid for the drugs they imported by sending, or recruiting others to send, international wire payments to the Chinese sources of supply. Tighe admitted to having been responsible for transferring at least $14,000 to China from April 2014 to June 2014.

The count of drug trafficking conspiracy carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. The count of international promotional money laundering conspiracy carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for November 19, 2024.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation.