A prominent diving coach and her son were arrested in New Jersey and charged with trafficking fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and marijuana. Candace Gottlieb, 59, and her son Tyler Gottlieb, 27, were both arrested Friday following a federal investigation into the trafficking of counterfeit prescription opioid pills containing fentanyl and heroin, as well as numerous other drugs.
Tyler Gottlieb was arrested in March as he was about to board a flight to California from Philadelphia International Airport, officials said. The FBI later found 802 counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl and heroin during the investigation.
Here’s what you need to know about the Gottlieb’s arrest:
1. The FBI Seized 40 Pounds of Marijuana that Tyler Gottlieb Mailed to New Jersey, Along with Samples of Cocaine and over 6,600 Counterfeit Prescription Pills
According to NBC San Diego, officials say the FBI bought cocaine from Tyler Gottlieb in a transaction orchestrated by 27-year-old. The FBI then seized about 40 pounds of marijuana sent by Tyler Gottlieb to New Jersey through the mail and also found samples of cocaine and marijuana from his mother, Candace Gottlieb.
The alleged drug operation surfaced in March, when Transportation Security Administration personnel found about $51,000 in Tyler Gottlieb’s carry-on bag at Philadelphia International Airport, according to the Courier Post Online.
Investigators then found an additional $16,760 in a checked luggage bag, which also held suspected heroin, syringes and three cellphones.
“Investigators say they executed a search warrant of the Gottliebs’ New Jersey home Friday and seized about 6,600 additional counterfeit prescription pills they suspect contained fentanyl and heroin as well as cocaine and marijuana packaged for distribution,” according to NBC San Diego.
They also found and seized two handguns from inside the home and around $2,000 in cash, according to officials.
2. Candace Gottlieb was a Beloved Diving Coach for 23 Seasons at the College of New Jersey in Ewing Township
Candace Gottlieb was a men’s and women’s diving coach at The College of New Jersey in Ewing Township (TCNJ) for 23 seasons. Candace helped to produce 20 NCAA Division III qualifiers who have earned 32 All-America awards, according to NBC San Diego.
Luke Sacks, the head media relations at TCNJ, described Gottlieb as a “part-time employee who worked a limited number of hours as a men’s and women’s diving coach,” NBC San Diego reports. Sack told NBC that that TCNJ had immediately terminated Candace Gottlieb’s contract upon hearing the news of her arrest.
“The College of New Jersey was not contacted by law enforcement as part of its investigation and has no reason to believe that Candace Gottlieb was doing anything on TCNJ’s campus other than the duties for which she was hired,” he said.
“Gottlieb also served the U.S. Olympic International Committee as an international liaison for all international trips for both the junior and senior squads,” according to her TCNJ profile, that has now been removed. Candace Gottlieb is the founder of the South Jersey and Blue Dolphin diving clubs, according to the biography.
3. Candace Had Another Son Who Died from a Drug Overdose Last Year
On May 23, the informant that had been tracking the Gottlieb’s since March secretly recorded Candace Gottlieb on video during the alleged sale of 600 pills containing heroin and fentanyl.
At one point during the meeting, Candace Gottlieb stated to the CHS that she had 20 pounds of marijuana, which she had packaged for further resale, according to the Courier Online.
“He’s awfully lucky he’s got a mom that does this shit for him,” Gottlieb allegedly said of her son during that transaction.
According to NBC San Diego, Candace Gottlieb had another son who died of a drug overdose last year, although she continued allegedly selling drugs after her sons death.
4. The Gottlieb’s Were Allegedly Also Selling Illegal Weapons, Including AR-15’s and Glock’s
Candace Gottlieb is also accused of allegedly assembling guns for sale on the black market, according to the criminal complaint.
The FBI secretly recorded her son Tyler explaining the transaction process in a conversation at his home before the arrest. The FBI had an informant speaking to Tyler on March 28.
“I’m telling you, you can get a Glock, I can get you an AR-15 pistol, all that shit, dawg,” Gottlieb said, according to an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Dustin Poulin.
“See the thing is, I’m not buying these guns put together … I’m buying them in parts, and putting them together, piecing them together from different sites and shit,” he claimed, according to the affidavit.
Gottlieb also sent photos to the source that showed him posing “in front of an indoor marijuana grow” and displaying a “firearm that appears to be a mini-Uzi,” the affidavit said.
5. Tyler Gottlieb Allegedly Sold an Informant $3,000 Worth of Prescription Pills & Sent Pictures of Himself Standing in Front of a Marijuana Growing Operation with an Uzi
During the same meeting with Tyler Gottlieb when the 27-year-old was trying to sell the informant a gun, the FBI source allegedly saw “large quantities of cocaine in two sealed clear plastic packages, several hundred pills which Tyler Gottlieb indicated contained fentanyl, and three stacks containing numerous individually packaged bags of suspected heroin,” the affidavit said.
The informant later returned back to Tyler’s home to buy 200 counterfeit prescription painkillers for $3,000. The affidavit also stated that Gottlieb directed the informant to download an app called “Signal” that allows users to communicate through encrypted messages, to avoid police detection.
Gottlieb also allegedly sent photos to the source that showed him posing “in front of an indoor marijuana grow” and displaying a “firearm that appears to be a mini-Uzi,” the affidavit said.