Officials have reported that a group of nearly a dozen men have been apprehended for operating a significant fentanyl and heroin mill in the Bronx. The drug bust yielded around $4 million worth of potentially fatal drugs, with hundreds of thousands of them already packaged and ready for distribution.
Last week, authorities on the federal, state, and local levels conducted an operation to take down a drug operation. They successfully confiscated 400,000 packages of suspected heroin and fentanyl, as well as quantities of loose powdered narcotics from an apartment on the Grand Concourse, near East 168th Street, located in the South Bronx.
According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, law enforcement officials apprehended four out of the 11 suspects who were found hiding beneath solar panels on the roof of the drug den.
According to a statement from DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino, a fentanyl/heroin trafficking ring comprising of eleven members was apprehended while attempting to escape from the scene of a crime.
“Even though they tried to seek refuge under the solar panels on the roof, they were unable to escape the dangers of an active fentanyl mill containing hundreds of thousands of lethal doses. Everyone had to run for their lives.”
On Wednesday, the DEA arrived at the apartment after monitoring it for approximately a month. During their surveillance, they observed several individuals entering and leaving the premises carrying bags, a glass top table, chairs, and various equipment.
According to officials, Aremedis Rivera, 41, was the first to be seen entering the building at approximately 11 a.m. Juan Rivera, 44, followed a few hours later, as observed by agents and officers.
According to officials, Aremedis exited the building at around 5 p.m. and then proceeded to board a livery car. After traveling approximately seven blocks, he disembarked near Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center.
He was halted by the authorities, who confiscated the bags he was carrying.
According to federal authorities, a search authorized by the court later uncovered that the two bags contained around 100,000 glassine envelopes filled with heroin and fentanyl, which were shaped like bricks and wrapped in magazine paper.
Authorities stated that Heriberto Rivera, 43, was seen leaving the same building within an hour, followed by Luis Ledesma, 38, as per the investigators’ observations.
A tenant, who seemed agitated, emerged from the building and started shouting about men attempting to enter his apartment.
Authorities have reported that John Reyes, 36, was apprehended in the lobby by investigators who rushed into the building during the arrest.
Officials said that Oscar Taveras, 32, Juan Rivera, 44, and Miguel Delacruz, 29, were busted on the roof after the raid of the apartment in question.
Officials have reported that Ivan Carlos-Serrano, aged 23, Juan Albert Serrano, aged 26, Kelvin Ledesma, aged 26, and Richard Manuel-Rivera, aged 28, attempted to avoid arrest by hiding beneath solar panels on the roof. However, they were ultimately apprehended by authorities.
After reviewing the building’s security footage, authorities have gathered sufficient evidence linking all 11 individuals to the drug mill.
As the team entered the living room, they were met with a staggering sight. Bags scattered across the furniture were filled to the brim with glassine envelopes, each containing deadly fentanyl. The agents and officers worked quickly to recover the hundreds of thousands of envelopes from the couch, the floor, and two tables – one of which had a glass top. The scale of the operation was overwhelming, but the team remained focused on their task at hand.
Authorities reported that loose powdered fentanyl was found scattered throughout the room.
During the investigation, authorities discovered an assortment of equipment required for drug packaging. This included bags of cutting agents, a box filled with coffee grinders containing a white powdery substance, as well as multiple scales and stamps used for branding purposes.
Officials reported that numerous empty glassine envelopes were discovered in the apartment, even in the oven.
According to officials, the NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office has filed an indictment charging the suspects with numerous counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees. The suspects have also been charged with criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree.
In a statement, Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan emphasized the potential hazards posed by a fentanyl/heroin packaging mill that was being operated in a residential building. The investigation has brought to light the dangers associated with such illegal activities being carried out in a residential area.
Brennan expressed his concern about the danger that lethal drugs pose to the innocent residents of a neighborhood. He emphasized that the security of the residents could also be compromised when half a million small packages of lethal drugs are bagged in a nearby apartment. The city of New York is experiencing a significant loss of lives due to deadly drugs, and the citizens are tired of fentanyl trafficking in every way possible.