By SILE MOLONEY
Six people have been arrested in connection with a large-scale heroin/fentanyl packaging plant in the Bronx neighborhood of Crotona, officials from the city’s Office of the Special Narcotics Attorney (SNP) said Monday (Aug. 8). A shipment of more than 25 kilograms of narcotics (over 55 pounds), with a street value of more than $5 million, was intended for distribution throughout New York City and Massachusetts. The packing plant was located in an apartment across from a public elementary school near the Bronx Zoo.
Bridget G. Brennan, New York Special Narcotics Attorney, Darcel D. Clark, Bronx District Attorney, Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) United Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell and State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen announced the arrests following the arraignment of six people in Manhattan Criminal Court over the weekend. end.
Two criminal complaints filed by the SNP contain charges of first and third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia.
The investigation was conducted by the DEA’s New York City Drug Enforcement Task Force (NYDETF) T-22 Task Force, which includes agents and officers from the New York DEA Division, the NYPD and of the New York State Police. The SNP’s Investigative Unit and the DEA’s Springfield Regional Office in Massachusetts assisted in the investigation.
According to the prosecution, on Thursday, August 4 at approximately 6:22 p.m., members of NYDETF T-22 arrived at 2120 Crotona Avenue, Apt. 12, located across from PS 57 Crescent, on the border between the Belmont and Crotona sections of the Bronx, to conduct a court-authorized search.
Officials said that as agents and officers tried to enter the apartment, members of the T-22 group observed six individuals climbing the fire escape to the roof of the five-story building. Seeing the agents and officers stationed on the roof, the six men, Randy Ledesmal, Alexis Rosario Sabrino, Jose Mora, Darwin Taveras Santos, Miguel Then Serverino and Dayson Taveras, reversed direction to descend the fire escape and been arrested. between the second and fourth floors of the building.
Once inside the apartment, officers and officers determined that the front door had been reinforced with additional deadbolts and a peephole fitted with a camera. Inside a bedroom, agents and officers recovered a suitcase containing approximately 300,000 crystal envelopes filled with heroin/fentanyl.
Another 7,000 heroin/fentanyl glassines were found in a bedroom closet. Approximately 200,000 heroin/fentanyl glassines and an additional 5.5 kilograms in brick form were found in the living room. Several stamps for labeling glassines and several grinders for mixing narcotics were also recovered from the apartment.
Others are being prosecuted by the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts. On August 3, 2022, prior to the court-authorized search of 2120 Crotona Avenue, Apt. On December 12, an individual, Carlos Cordova, who was being watched by members of the T-22 group, was observed outside the building driving a white Honda Civic with Massachusetts license plates. .
Two other people were with him in the vehicle. Later that evening, at 10:10 p.m., a vehicle stop was made near Route 391 at Exit 5 by members of the DEA Springfield resident office. Jose Vazquez Cordova and Angel Rivera were arrested and more than 5,000 heroin/fentanyl glassines were recovered from the trunk of the vehicle. The heroines/glassines were stamped “Yeezy”.
DEA lab analysis of narcotics seized in New York and Massachusetts is pending.
Brennan thanked Clark and praised the SNP’s Office of Special Investigations and Investigative Unit, the New York Division and New England Division of the DEA, the NYPD and the New York State Police. for their work on the investigation.
“The mass production and distribution of fentanyl is fueling a record number of overdose deaths in New York and across the country,” Brennan said. “The investigation and arrests announced today, resulting in the ultimate destruction of hundreds of thousands of glassines of deadly drugs, will undoubtedly prevent many deaths. Drug traffickers who attempt to profit from the mass distribution of deadly drugs will face appropriate consequences for the damage they have caused.
For his part, Clark said, “This investigation by Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan and the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force has dismantled a major heroin and fentanyl plant, located just across from a public school, less than three blocks from two others and four blocks from the Bronx Zoo, and intercepted 55 pounds of drugs that are believed to have ravaged lives across the city.
She added, “The traffickers are brazenly integrating into our communities and we will not tolerate it. We will continue to work to prevent them from using the Bronx as a hub for distributing narcotics.
Tarentino said there was nothing more important to the DEA than protecting the public from harm associated with drug trafficking, and said the case had a huge impact on dwindling drug supplies. heroin and fentanyl throughout the Northeast. “I commend the members of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, the New York Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office, and the New England Division of the DEA for their assistance in this investigation.” he declared.
Sewell said the fight to rid the community of illegal drugs was relentless. “The criminals who peddle them are preying on some of the most vulnerable people in our city, and the NYPD will do everything possible to hold them accountable,” she said. “I want to thank the New York City Special Narcotics Attorney, the New York DEA Division, the New York State Police, the Bronx District Attorney, and all of our law enforcement partners. laws for their outstanding work on this case.”
Meanwhile, Bruen said the suspects were preparing large quantities of deadly drugs to sell, seeking to profit from the activity with no regard for the harm the narcotics inflict on communities. “Through the efforts of our partnership, we have taken these drugs off our streets and will do everything we can to hold the suspects accountable,” he said.
A person arrested and charged with a crime is deemed innocent unless and until convicted by a court.