Five men were arrested for their alleged connection to a wholesale heroin and fentanyl distribution network in Soundview and Yonkers.
According to District Attorney Darcel Clark’s Office, Juan Silva Santos, 39, of Ridge Hill, Yonkers; Ezequiel Then, 30, of Soundview; Wilton Paulino, 22, of Soundview, Jesus Vega Guzman, 35, of Sinaloa, Mexico and Candido De Jesus, 62, of Manhattan were arrested on October 25, 2018 following an investigation by the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force Group T-32 comprised of DEA, NYPD and NYSP agents and police officers.
Approximately 70 pounds of heroin and fentanyl were recovered from 950 Underhill Avenue and 701 Ridge Hill Boulevard that same day.
The narcotics’ wholesale value totals $1.75 million with a street value of $10 million.
De Jesus was arraigned on Thursday, January 24 and entered a not guilty plea.
Santos, Then, Paulino and Guzman were arraigned on Thursday, January 31 before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Abraham Clott.
Santos is due back at court on Friday, March 29.
Paulino, Then, De Jesus and Guzman return to court on Thursday, May 23.
Between September 4 to October 25, NYDETF observed Santos, Then, De Jesus and Paulino allegedly visit 950 Underhill Avenue, Apartment 7K on multiple occasions.
On October 24, agents and detectives observed Santos and Then leave the 950 Underhill Avenue apartment in a taxi traveling to JFK Airport.
De Jesus exited the building and allegedly discarded two trash bags containing drug packaging materials and paraphernalia before leaving with Paulino.
Investigators discovered Guzman allegedly represented a Mexico-based narcotics supply organization and had travelled to NYC via JFK Airport.
Detectives and agents learned that Santos resided at 701 Ridge Hill Boulevard, Apartment 5B and owned a storage locker S59.
On October 25, NYDETF and the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office obtained search warrants for the apartments and storage locker.
At 6:50 p.m., the defendants were apprehended by law enforcement at 950 Underhill Avenue and a nearby Popeye’s Restaurant.
Forty pounds of heroin, fentanyl and valeryl fentanyl were recovered from the Soundview apartment.
Twenty-six pounds of heroin and fentanyl were discovered in a hidden compartment inside a bedroom closet’s back wall.
Drugs were also recovered between the box springs, mattress and underneath a bed in the bedroom.
A kilo press allegedly used to reshape heroin and fentanyl mixtures into bricks was discovered next to a bed.
A search of the Yonkers apartment yielded $28,000 cash inside a master bedroom’s closet.
Storage locker S59 contained 30 pounds of fentanyl and heroin inside a suitcase.
Santos was charged with operating as a major trafficker, conspiracy in the second degree, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree and criminally using drug paraphernalia.
Then, Paulino and Guzman were charged with conspiracy in the second degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees and criminally using drug paraphernalia.
De Jesus was charged with conspiracy in the second degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees.