Seven men were charged on Thursday, December 12 with operating a fentanyl packaging operation in Mott Haven and one defendant faces assault charges for allegedly throwing fentanyl at a law enforcement officer with the intent to cause serious injury.
Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for a suspected narcotics packaging location at 304 Willis Avenue, Apt. 4D on November 7.
Upon entering the apartment, officers encountered six individuals in the living room along with a large quantity of suspected heroin and fentanyl packaged into nearly 20,000 individual dose glassine envelopes, as well as additional quantities of narcotics in loose powder form.
However, before they could secure the apartment, defendant Christian Rojas allegedly threw loose fentanyl at the head of one of the officers, striking him with powder and causing the dust from the potent narcotic to become airborne.
The officer exhibited fentanyl-related symptoms, including nausea and shortness of breath and was treated by emergency responders.
A second officer who was immediately behind the injured officer also experienced nausea and shortness of breath, and momentarily lost consciousness while being transported to a hospital via ambulance.
A total of four officers experienced fentanyl-related symptoms as a result of being inside the apartment.
The defendants were arraigned Thursday, December 12. Rojas was charged with two counts of attempted aggravated assault upon a police officer, two counts of assault in the second degree and one count of reckless endangerment in the second degree.
All seven defendants, including four from the Bronx, Francisco Payano, Mario Guerrero, Jose Gonzalez and Margaret Payano, were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree and two counts of criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree.