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14 arrested in federal roundup

Police bust drug cartel/14 arrested in fed heroin gang roundup

The house at 1517 Lurting Avenue, far left, was a base of operations for a large heroin ring, according to the Bronx D.A.’s Office.
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A Bronx resident was arrested and charged with allegedly selling potent heroin laced with fentanyl out of his Lurting Avenue home just down the road from Westchester Square, according to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.

Ramon Walters, 42, worked with 13 co-defendants to have the drugs shipped from Mexico, and then mixed and stored at his home at 1517 Lurting Avenue, off East Tremont Avenue.

Other defendants would visit the home to pick up the drugs they later sold, according to police.

Walters and Troy Callwood, 45, of 2714 Gifford Avenue, were charged with operating as a major trafficker, a class A-1 felony.

They and other defendants also face various other charges, such as criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal sale of a controlled substance.

The 14 defendants were arrested Wednesday, May 3, following a lengthy investigation by the Bronx D.A.’s office and the NYPD’s Bronx Narcotics unit that began in May 2016.

The DEA Strike Force then joined the investigation in August to help identify the group’s supply and distribution network.

Investigators found a high-tech security system and floodlights at the home when they executed a search warrant.

The 159-count indictment names 10 Bronx residents as defendants, with another four facing a 32-count indictment in Manhattan and New Jersey.

Another resident of 1517 Lurting Avenue, 39-year-old Denia Hernandez, was among those arrested.

It was not immediately known if she was related to Walters.

Seven other Bronx residents were arrested as part of the bust: Earl Williams Sr., 39, of 1032 Aldus Street; Roberto Davila, 42, of 3124 Country Club Road; Luis Padro, 45, of 2523 University Avenue; Jason Ruiz, 30, 906 Simpson Street; Francisco Severino, 32, 3419 Irwin Avenue; Dilangie Fabian, 28, 735 Walton Avenue.

District Attorney Darcel Clark announced she will sue the defendants for the proceeds of their drug trafficking over the past six months.

“These defendants allegedly peddled ultra-pure heroin as well as heroin laced with fentanyl, callously disregarding how poisonous and volatile this mixture is,” Clark said in a Thursday, May 4 statement announcing the bust.

Investigators found Walters flushing what they alleged to be Fentanyl down a toilet.

Fentanyl is a sythetic opioid sometimes used in surgery and is much more powerful than morphine.

The drug is sometimes added to heroin to make the drug more powerful, which also leads to more overdoses.

They also found $10,000 in cash in the home.

Five kilograms of high-grade heroin with a street value of over $300,000 was found hidden in the trunks of two cars being transported on a car carrier in Pennsylvania.

Neighbor Dominick Derasmo said Walters had lived at the property since 2009 with his wife and child.

He said Walters appeared to be employed, and that he had no reason to suspect anything illegal had been happening in the house.

“I never suspected anything,” Derasmo said. “He always says hello and goes to work every day.”

Car break-ins on Lurting Avenue had become a serious problem in recent months, he said, leading some residents to install security cameras.

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 742–4584. E-mail him at acusano@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @arthurcusano.
Posted 12:00 am, May 12, 2017
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