Officials have reported that a group of almost twelve men were recently caught operating a significant fentanyl and heroin mill in the Bronx. This mill was responsible for packaging hundreds of thousands of potentially deadly drugs, amounting to approximately $4 million worth of illegal substances.
Last week, authorities at the federal, state, and local levels conducted a takedown that resulted in the seizure of approximately 400,000 packages of suspected fentanyl and heroin, along with loose powdered narcotics, from 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 arrest four out of the 11 suspects who were found hiding under solar panels on the roof of the drug den.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino stated that a group of eleven individuals involved in the trafficking of fentanyl and heroin were apprehended while trying to escape the crime scene.
“Despite seeking refuge under the solar panels on the roof, they were unable to escape the danger of an active fentanyl mill that contained numerous fatal doses. All individuals present had to flee the scene to avoid the potential harm.”
According to the DEA, after monitoring the apartment for approximately a month and observing several individuals entering and exiting with bags, chairs, a glass top table, and other equipment, investigators arrived on Wednesday.
Officials stated that Aremedis Rivera, 41, was the first to enter the building at approximately 11 a.m., followed by Juan Rivera, 44, a few hours later, as observed by agents and officers.
According to officials, Aremedis exited the building at approximately 5 p.m. and then took a livery car. The car drove for approximately seven blocks before Aremedis got out near the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center.
He was apprehended by the authorities who confiscated the bags he was carrying.
According to federal authorities, during a court-approved search, it was discovered that the two bags contained approximately 100,000 glassine envelopes filled with fentanyl and heroin. These drugs were formed into brick-shaped squares and packaged in magazine paper.
Authorities reported that Heriberto Rivera, 43, was seen exiting the same building within an hour, followed by Luis Ledesma, 38, by investigators.
A tenant emerged from the building in a state of agitation, shouting about men attempting to enter his apartment.
Authorities have reported that another suspect, 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 busted on the roof after the raid on the apartment in question.
Officials 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, they were quickly apprehended by the authorities.
After reviewing building security footage and other evidence, authorities have successfully linked all 11 men to the drug mill.
Officials said that while the agents and officers were inside the living room, they discovered bags containing hundreds of thousands of glassine envelopes filled with fentanyl. These bags were found on the couch, the floor, and two tables, including a glass-top table.
Authorities have reported that loose powdered fentanyl was scattered throughout the room.
During the investigation, authorities discovered a range of equipment used for drug packaging, which included bags of cutting agents, a box filled with coffee grinders containing a white powdery substance, multiple scales, and branding stamps.
Officials discovered numerous empty glassine envelopes within the apartment, including inside the oven.
According to officials, the NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office has charged the suspects with various criminal offenses related to the possession and use of controlled substances. The charges include multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees, as well as criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree.
“In her statement, Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan emphasized the possible hazards posed by a fentanyl/heroin packaging mill that was being run in a residential building.”
According to Brennan, the danger of lethal drugs is not limited to their adverse effects on innocent residents. In fact, when half a million small packages of lethal drugs are being bagged in a nearby apartment, the security of the residents may also be at risk. He further added that the citizens of New York have had enough of fentanyl trafficking, which has claimed countless precious lives across the city.
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