Seven million dollarsworth of fentanyl was taken off the street last week during a west Bronx drug bust.
On Wednesday, January 28, law enforcement, announced the arrests of six individuals in connection with a large-scale narcotics packaging and distribution network operating in Kingsbridge.
The long-term investigation culminated in the feds seizing approximately 750,000 glassine envelopes of suspected heroin/fentanyl from an apartment at 2559 Sedgwick Avenue during a court-authorized search.
“This enforcement operation shows that heroin is still the neighborhood stalker bringing danger and death to our doorsteps,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan.
“This seizure is incredibly significant because it has saved hundreds of thousands of people from starting a cycle of opioid addiction by removing three quarters of a million heroin filled glassines from a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx. Great police work and a common goal go a long way in keeping our city safe from the dangers of illegal drugs,” he added.
Members of the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force and investigators with the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor conducted several days of intensive physical and video surveillance at the seven-story residential building.
Over the course of the weekend, they observed a total of eight individuals coming and going from apartment 6A at the Sedgwick location, the suspected narcotics packaging mill.
Agents and officers recognized some of the suspects from prior surveillance of the unit.
The bust yielded hundreds of thousands of glassine envelopes.
The illegal contraband covered two tabletops and overflowed out of plastic bins and cardboard boxes onto the floor and a bed.
Equipment and paraphernalia typical of a heroin/fentanyl mill were present in the room, including a glass table, desk lamps, a scale, grinders, empty glassine envelopes, small spoons, an inkbottle, inkpads and stamps.
Livo Valdez, Jaslin Baldera, Frederick Baldera, Frandi Ledema, Diego Tejada, and Pafraimy Antonio are charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees and criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree. The defendants were arraigned on the same day.
“The sheer volume of heroin and fentanyl packages assembled in a small apartment just off the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx is shocking,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan.
Even veteran narcotics investigators were surprised by the output of this packaging operation, which was run out of a nondescript apartment in the borough afflicted by the city’s highest rate of overdose death.
“The arrests of six individuals, and drug-filled envelopes destined for distribution here and in New England, underscore New York City’s role as a hub for mass distribution of deadly drugs. I thank the Drug Enforcement Task Force and the investigators and prosecutors from the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for their dedication and commitment to preventing lethal drugs from ever reaching our communities,” Brennan said.
The alledged drug dealers were released without bail on the day they were arrested.