Wagswoofs – Officials have reported that a group of nearly a dozen men have been arrested for running a significant fentanyl and heroin mill in the Bronx. The mill was discovered to have contained hundreds of thousands of potentially lethal drugs, worth approximately $4 million, that were packaged and ready for distribution.
Last week, authorities at the federal, state and local levels conducted a takedown operation that resulted in the seizure of 400,000 packages of suspected fentanyl and heroin, along with loose powdered narcotics. The operation took place at an apartment located on the Grand Concourse, near East 168th Street in the South Bronx.
According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, law enforcement officials were able to apprehend four out of the 11 suspects who were found hiding beneath the solar panels situated on the roof of the drug den.
In a statement, DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino announced the arrest of eleven members of a trafficking ring for fentanyl and heroin. The suspects were apprehended as they attempted to flee the crime scene.
According to the DEA, multiple individuals were observed carrying bags, a glass top table, chairs and other equipment in and out of the apartment over the course of a month. Investigators arrived at the scene on Wednesday after conducting surveillance.
According to officials, Aremedis Rivera, 41, was the first to enter the building around 11 a.m., followed by Juan Rivera, 44, a few hours later. Agents and officers were able to spot them both.
Officials stated that Aremedis exited the building at approximately 5 p.m. and proceeded to board a livery car. The car transported him seven blocks before he disembarked near Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center.
He was stopped by the authorities and they confiscated the bags he had been carrying.
According to federal authorities, a search that was authorized by the court later uncovered that the two bags contained approximately 100,000 glassine envelopes which were filled with fentanyl and heroin. These envelopes were formed into brick-shaped squares and wrapped in magazine paper.
Authorities reported that Heriberto Rivera, 43, was seen leaving the building within an hour, followed by Luis Ledesma, 38, as investigators kept a close eye on them.
A tenant emerged from the building with a sense of agitation, shouting about men attempting to gain access to his apartment.
Authorities have reported that John Reyes, 36, was apprehended in the lobby of the building by investigators who swiftly entered the premises.
Officials reported that Oscar Taveras, 32, Juan Rivera, 44, and Miguel Delacruz, 29, were apprehended on the roof after the apartment in question was raided.
Officials have reported that Ivan Carlos-Serrano (23), Juan Albert Serrano (26), Kelvin Ledesma (26), and Richard Manuel-Rivera (28) attempted to avoid being caught by hiding under solar panels on the roof together. However, their efforts were in vain as they were ultimately caught by the authorities.
After reviewing building security footage and other evidence, officials have linked all 11 men to the drug mill in question.
As for the living room, law enforcement agents and officers found numerous glassine envelopes containing fentanyl inside bags placed on the couch, floor, and tables, including a glass-top table and a second table. In total, hundreds of thousands of these envelopes were recovered, according to officials.
Authorities reported the presence of loose powdered fentanyl scattered throughout the room.
During the investigation, authorities discovered several items essential for drug packaging, such as bags of cutting agents, a box filled with coffee grinders containing a white powdery substance, as well as multiple scales and stamps utilized for branding purposes.
Officials reported discovering thousands of empty glassine envelopes in the apartment, including some found in the oven.
According to officials, traffickers tend to accelerate the process of stuffing envelopes by preheating them in an oven.
According to officials, the NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office has filed an indictment against the suspects. They have been charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees, along with criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan emphasized the possible hazards associated with a fentanyl/heroin packaging mill that is operating within a residential building. In her statement, she brought attention to the significance of the investigation.
According to Brennan, innocent residents are at risk of exposure to lethal drugs when a neighboring apartment bags half a million small packages of these harmful substances. Moreover, their security may also be compromised. The loss of precious lives due to deadly drugs is a widespread issue throughout the city, and New Yorkers are fed up with every aspect of fentanyl trafficking.