A Madison man could face up to life in prison plus 70 years after he allegedly plotted to deal 5 pounds of fentanyl and further had a large amount of cocaine and marijuana in his home.
Jason Viera Penalbert, 36, was charged on Monday with possession of more than 140 grams of cocaine with intent to deliver, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and conspiracy to deliver fentanyl.
The cocaine possession charge carries a penalty of 20 years to life in prison; the fentanyl conspiracy charge up to 50 years; and the marijuana possession charge up to 20 years.
Viera Penalbert’s charges are connected to his May 18 arrest, which followed searches of both a residence in Norfolk and his own home in Madison.
According to an arrest affidavit, on May 18, the Nebraska State Patrol’s investigative services division executed a search warrant of a package that was located at a parcel delivery service company in Omaha. Inside the package were two individually wrapped bundles of suspected fentanyl powder with a total weight of about 5 pounds.
The package was addressed to a residence on East Klug Avenue in Norfolk and was scheduled to be delivered at noon that day.
Law enforcement officers conducted a controlled delivery at the Norfolk residence shortly after noon. A woman received the package and took it into the residence.
The state patrol then carried out a search warrant at the East Klug Avenue residence and located the recently delivered package.
Authorities interviewed the woman and learned that Viera Penalbert had arranged for the package to be delivered to the residence. The woman had phoned Viera Penalbert to notify him that the package arrived. He planned to come pick up the suspected fentanyl shortly thereafter.
Around 12:30 p.m., Viera Penalbert arrived at the residence, parked his vehicle and exited the car before being apprehended.
A state patrol investigator interviewed Viera Penalbert at the Madison County Jail. Viera Penalbert, according to the affidavit, told the investigator that there were drugs — 126 grams (about 4.5 ounces) of cocaine and 1 ounce of marijuana — inside his residence on Nebraska Street in Madison.
The state patrol obtained a search warrant for Viera Penalbert’s residence, where officers allegedly located about 195 grams (nearly 7 ounces) of cocaine and 28 grams (about 1 ounce) of marijuana.
Around 50 small self-seal baggies, each containing about 1 gram of cocaine, were found in a larger self-seal baggie. Another 24 small baggies, also with 1 gram of cocaine inside each of them, were located in a second large baggie. An additional 105 grams of the drug was located in a third bag.
County Judge Michael Long fixed Viera Penalbert’s bail at $500,000 the day after he was arrested.
Viera Penalbert appeared in court on Tuesday without an attorney. His hearing was continued because of his need for interpretive services.