Three kilograms of suspected heroin and more than 250,000 individually packaged glassine envelopes were confiscated by police in the Bronx on Friday, July 19.
More than just an average drug bust though, many of these packages were branded with an ‘El Chapo’ stamp after the Mexican drug lord that’s expected to do life in prison.
The bust began when New York Drug Enforcement Task Force and other law enforcement were conducting surveillance in the vicinity of 3039 Wallace Avenue and Boston Road on Tuesday, July 16.
Investigators observed a black, Massachusetts registered Toyota Corolla sedan with a large shopping bag inside the vehicle. After police pulled the car over, they saw one a large shopping bag on the floor of the back seat of the vehicle with a large number of packages consistent with heroin glassines visible.
The driver of the vehicle, Luis Carmona-Ilarazza was arrested as the bag was found to contain approximately 70,000 individually packaged glassine envelopes containing white powder.
When police reviewed surveillance video outside the Wallace Avenue apartment building the next day, it showed Joseph Medina-Hidalgo, give a second man, later identified as Amaury Lora-Grullon, a large suitcase.
Lora-Grullon then placed the suitcase in the trunk of a 2013 black Toyota Camry before entering the car outside of the apartment building.
Another 17,000 individually packaged glassines of heroin were found inside the suitcase in the trunk of the vehicle after police pulled the car over, arresting Lora-Grullon in the process.
After attaining a search warrant for Apartment 4D of 3039 Wallace Avenue,
Investigators dismantled a fully functioning heroin mill that contained the three kilograms of heroin, an estimated 170,000 glassines of milled and packaged heroin.
A substantial amount of packaging equipment was also recovered, including numerous grinders used to process the heroin, packagingmaterials and 47 various stamps, used to brand the heroin with a variety of names, including El Chapo, Dunkin Donuts, Exit 4, Rolex, T Mobile, NBA, Coca-Cola, Sleep Walking, Peter Rabbit, Superman, Hello Kitty, iPhone, KTM and Black Hand.
The glassine envelopes of heroin were piled on tables, in bags and on the floor as well.
Most of the glassines were already bundled into rectangular packages that were wrapped in white paper and plastic according to brand name, ready for delivery to the street.
Three kilograms in brick form were found in bags wrapped in cellophane.
The DEA estimated that the black market value of the suspected heroin at approximately $5 million.
Results of laboratory analysis of the seized narcotics are pending.