New York City Firefighter Charged in Narcotics Sales: Drugs Sold in Front of Firehouse and Near Schools

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, New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters, Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and New York State Police Superintendent George Beach announced today the arrest and indictment of a New York City firefighter on multiple counts of Conspiracy, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance on or near School Grounds.

New York City Firefighter DANIEL TORRES, 33, of Rahway, N.J., was arrested this morning as a result of a long-term wiretap investigation by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, Financial Investigations Team (FIT), and the New York City Department of Investigation. An eight-year veteran of the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), TORRES served as a member of Engine 279/Ladder 131, located at 252 Lorraine Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn. He was reassigned this fall to the FDNY Recruitment Unit.

Officers stopped TORRES as he was driving to work at approximately 6:10 a.m. today on the Staten Island Expressway. TORRES is charged with selling narcotics in front of the Red Hook firehouse, as well as at a nearby gas station. He was arraigned this afternoon before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Neil Ross and held on $25,000 bail.

In March of 2016, agents and officers with the DEA’s New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, Financial Investigations Team (FIT), developed information that TORRES was selling narcotics. The Kings County District Attorney’s Office reviewed and authorized a wiretap application at the request of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office, and the Department of Investigation assisted in monitoring the wiretap.

The investigation revealed that TORRES set up drug sales through calls and text messages. Agents, officers and investigators with the DEA Strike Force and DOI observed TORRES selling narcotics on multiple occasions.

A 10-count indictment charges TORRES in connection with two drug sales and related conspiracies. On June 15, 2016, TORRES allegedly sold 80 pills of Vicodin, an addictive prescription opioid painkiller, to the customer near a gas station at the intersection of Third Avenue and 20th Street in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn. The gas station is a block from the Al-Noor School, an Islamic private high school.

On August 30, 2016, TORRES conducted a drug transaction in front of the firehouse at 252 Lorraine Street. TORRES allegedly sold a customer another 80 Vicodin pills, as well as 28 Xanax pills, an addictive drug prescribed for anxiety. TORRES also provided the individual with a sample of heroin during this sale. The firehouse is located approximately three blocks away from a childcare center, the Choo Choo Train Daycare.

The indictment filed by the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office charges TORRES with two counts of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, one count of Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, one count each of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third and Fifth Degrees, two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree and three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in or near School Grounds.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan thanked her office’s Trial Division, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the New York City Police Department (NYPD), the Department of Investigation (DOI), and all of the participants in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force.

The U.S. Drug Administration’s New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force is comprised of agents and officers of the DEA, the New York City Police Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the New York State Police, the U. S. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Marshal Service, New York National Guard, the New York Department of Taxation and Finance, the Clarkstown Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard, Port Washington Police Department and New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. The Strike Force is partially funded by the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), which is a federally funded crime fighting initiative.

The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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Kati Cornell
Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
(212) 815-0525

Erin Mulvey
DEA, New York Division
(212) 337-2906

Diane Struzzi/Nicole Turso
Department of Investigation
(212) 825-5931

Stephen Davis
New York City Police Department
(212) 610-6700