Law Enforcement Disrupts Active Heroin Packaging Operation: Up to $2 Million in Narcotics Seized
Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New York Division, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas J. Spota, New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill and George P. Beach II, Superintendent of the New York State Police, announced the seizure of up to $2 million in heroin from a packaging mill and a vehicle in the Morrisania neighborhood of the Bronx.
Yesterday afternoon, members of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force (NYDETF) Group T-42 were conducting surveillance in the vicinity East 168th Street and Third Avenue in the Bronx as part of an ongoing investigation into narcotics trafficking in the New York metropolitan area and Long Island. At approximately 2:25 p.m., agents and officers observed defendant WLADIMIR ROSA REYES exit an apartment building located at 547 East 168th Street carrying a black suitcase, which he loaded into a black Honda Odyssey. Agents and investigators followed as ROSA REYES drove off and then stopped the vehicle a short time later. Upon searching the vehicle, agents recovered a suitcase that appeared to contain approximately 50,000 glassine envelopes of heroin wrapped in brown paper and stamped with the brand names “Magic City” and “Red Bull.”
Following this seizure, the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor obtained a search warrant for 547 East 168th Street, Apt. 4I. Upon entering 547 East 168th Street, Apt. 4I, agents and officers interrupted an active large-scale heroin packaging operation with nine individuals in the process of packaging heroin into glassines. Some of the individuals attempted to flee the apartment. Nine defendants were arrested: ANTONIO DELORBE MERCEDES, DANIEL GARCIA MITHILL, ANTONIO DELORBE, GISELA GUZMAN HERNANDEZ, NORLISA JIMENEZ, ANDY ZAYAS, OSVALDO MONEGRO, ALCIBIADES DELOSANTOS MATEO and JOSE DUARTE.
Agents and officers recovered approximately two kilograms (nearly five pounds) of powdered heroin and thousands of filled glassine envelopes from inside the apartment. Multiple tables held all the necessary drug packaging materials, such as grinders, empty glassine envelopes and cutting agents. Stamps used to brand the envelopes of heroin bore a variety of additional names, including King Kong, Stop Snitching, Red Bull, Dope, Extra Cheese and Overdose.
The DEA estimates the black market value of the heroin at up to $2 million. The defendants are schedule to be arraigned later today in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan thanked the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and commended the work of her office’s Special Investigations Bureau and the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, including members of the DEA, New York City Police Department and the New York State Police, for their work on the case.
“This high volume heroin packaging mill was on track to escalate overdose deaths and devastate the lives of those who become addicted and the people who love them,” Bridget G. Brennan said. “I thank our partners in law enforcement for their commitment to reducing the supply of heroin which is overwhelming our city and surrounding areas. The single most important thing we can do to rein in this epidemic is reduce the flow of addictive drugs available in our neighborhoods and on our streets.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt stated, “Last year there were more than 1,300 fatal drug overdoses in New York City. Heroin organizations have set up shop to process heroin from brick form into packaged bags for retail sales. In addition to seizing millions of dollars-worth of heroin last night, we seized packaging materials including several stamps used to brand their heroin such as ‘STOP SNITCHING,’ ‘DOPE’ and sadistically ‘OVERDOSE’; the last of which rings true to reports of heroin users desperately seeking out high potency heroin to satisfy their high.”
“The trafficking organizations at the foundation of the heroin and opioid epidemic are being targeted by law enforcement working together to aggressively find, investigate and ultimately dismantle their operations,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said. “Our partnerships in law enforcement ensured a successful outcome in this case.”
“Together we’ve dismantled a heroin mill that was operating in the Morrisania section of the Bronx,” said NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “The investigation yielded 5 kilograms of heroin, 10 arrests, a few thousand in cash and dozens of heroin stamps—Over Dose being one of them. I want to thank the fellow members of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force for their work. Collaborative investigations like this one underscore law enforcement’s collective commitment to end the opioid epidemic.”
New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “The work of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force has stopped a significant amount of these dangerous drugs from reaching the streets of New York. Each day, State Police members see the harmful effects of heroin on families and neighborhoods, and we are committed to working with our partners in law enforcement to keep these drugs out of our communities.”
The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.Download Press Release
Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
DEA New York Division
New York City Police Department
New York State Police