A south Bronx drug lab which apparently doubled for cockfighting in a residential Highbridge building is no more.
DEA agents alongside the NYPD raided the basement of 136 W. 170th St. on Friday, June 19, seizing three industrial pill press machines which were used to form counterfeit pills from illicit drugs, over two and half pounds of suspected heroin, 34 grams of suspected fentanyl and approximately five pounds of methamphetamine, which included a pound of crystal meth and approximately 1,600 blue methamphetamine pills, according to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor.
“This is the first time our office has seen an illegal pill production operation of this scale, with three active pill presses,” said Bridget G. Brennan.
“The lethal combination of heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine, disguised as familiar pills, would have put unsuspecting users at grave risk of overdose,” she added.
To the shock of agents, an estimated 30 to 50 roosters and chickens that authorities believe were being bred for cockfighting were discovered in the basement as well.
Prior to that major raid, surveillance was ordered on suspect Jenison Lebron of Manhattan who was arrested along with Alfredo Goris of the Bronx on multiple possession charges.
Two days before the raid, agents learned that three suspicious packages from China believed to be pill presses which weighed more than 280 pounds that were addressed to 626 10th Street, Apartment 5, in Union City, New Jersey.
Lebron was seen accepting the packages in New Jersey, wheeling them into the building in hand trucks, according to authorities.
He was then seen loading a heavy blue barrel into the back of a gray Acura, which Lebron drove back the Highbridge building while being covertly tailed by a surveillance team.
The basement location was determined after police viewed footage showing both Lebron and Goris entering the 170th Street address through the cellar door with heavy bags and suitcases up to 48 hours prior to the raid.
Both Lebron and Goris were arrested as they left 136 W. 170th St. at about 10 p.m. while the building was being searched by police.
The two were arraigned over the weekend in Manhattan Criminal Court, Goris was released without bail while Lebron was held in custody to appear for a bail hearing regarding a prior case.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan called the operation “a ticking time bomb,” adding “with the capability of highly dangerous controlled substances distributed to unsuspecting users, increasing the risk of overdoses and fatalities.”