Massive seizure took millions of glassings off streets throughout the East Coast
James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New York Division, Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton and Joseph A. D’Amico, Superintendent of the New York State Police, announced the seizure of 46 kilograms of heroin (141 lbs.).
On September 26, 2015 a team from the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force – comprised of DEA special agents, New York City Police Department (NYPD) detectives and New York State Police investigators – conducted surveillance in the vicinity of 2830 Sedgewick Ave., Bronx, NY, as part of an ongoing investigation into heroin distribution organizations operating in the Northeast region of the United States. The Special Narcotics Prosecutor's Office works closely with the Task Force as part of ongoing efforts to intercept bulk heroin shipments passing through New York City.
At approximately 3:40 p.m., agents and investigators observed Ramon Rivas and Jose Rodriguez in a silver Jeep Cherokee parked in front of 2830 Sedgewick Ave. Agents and officers approached the Jeep Cherokee and engaged Rivas and Rodriguez in conversation. Further questioning led to a search of the Jeep Cherokee. Twenty-two brick-shaped packages of powder consistent with kilograms of heroin (48 lbs.) were found in a concealed compartment in the trunk of the vehicle. An initial field test confirmed the presence of heroin.
A subsequent search was conducted at the residence of Ramon Rivas located at 2830 Sedgewick Ave., Apt. 1J, Bronx, NY. Two concealed compartments were found in the one bedroom
apartment. Task Force members found six kilograms of heroin (13 lbs.) in the floor of the bedroom closet and 14 kilograms of (31 lbs.) heroin in a concealed compartment in the wall of the entrance way closet, as well as $50,000 cash in the wall’s concealed compartment.
After searching the apartment and car, members of the Task Force searched a storage unit belonging to Rodriguez located at Public Storage, 400 Nepperhan Ave., Yonkers, NY where four more kilograms of heroin were seized (9 lbs.).
DEA SAC James J. Hunt said, “Heroin is like a monster in a horror movie, just when you think it is gone, it reemerges with a vengeance. This massive load of heroin was destined for NYC streets and is a reminder that heroin trafficking organizations are targeting NYC for retail distribution and transshipments throughout the Eastern Seaboard. As of today, DEA New York Division has seized one third of all DEA seizures in the U.S., which exemplifies the significant role drug law enforcement play in NY by thwarting drug traffickers’ attempts to increase the number of heroin users via heroin loads into our city.” SAC Hunt commends the men and women of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for their diligent work throughout this investigation.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said, “Reducing the supply of heroin is critical to reining in the scourge of addiction. Today's seizure will keep millions of packages of heroin from hitting the streets. I thank our law enforcement partners and investigators for their tireless efforts."
“This seizure prevented a staggering amount of heroin from flooding our neighborhoods with this highly addictive narcotic,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton. "I commend our NYPD investigators and law enforcement partners for their ongoing efforts to stop the distribution of this deadly drug.”
New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said, "With these arrests and seizure, we are preventing large quantities of heroin from making it to the streets of communities throughout New York State. I commend the members of the Drug Enforcement Task Force and our local and federal partners for the hard work and coordination that's necessary to put these dangerous criminals out of business.”
The Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor is prosecuting Ramon Rivas and Jose Rodriguez. A criminal complaint charges both defendants with one count each of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree. Rivas and Rodriguez were arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court, 100 Centre St. yesterday before Judge Robert Kalish. Both defendants pled not guilty.
The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.Download Press Release (pdf)
Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
New York City Police Department
DEA, New York Division
New York State Police