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DEA agents seize $15 million in dope during Bronx Red Bull heroin mill bust

July 2, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
DEA agents seize $15 million in dope during Bronx Red Bull heroin mill bust

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On Friday, officials announced the raid of a basement in a Bronx residence that contained over a million doses of heroin.

Police found approximately 64 kilos, or 140 pounds of heroin in a three story home being used as a heroin mill located in University Heights. The drugs were reported to be worth an estimated street value of $15 million.

The ‘mill’ was being surveilled by the joint Drug Enforcement Task Force. When investigators saw two men leaving the home on Thursday afternoon with “heavily weighted bags,” they were pulled over just a few blocks away.

Officials reported that the bags were stuffed with $50,000 in cash and were wrapped in bundles.

Police returned to the residence, and when they knocked on the front door, several people went fleeing out the back, where additional members of the NYPD, state police, and the DEA were waiting for them.

A neighbor who witnessed the seizure, who asked to remain anonymous, told reporters: “Out back they were coming out like crazy, but there was no way to get over the fence.”

When police entered the home, they found heroin everywhere and another $300,000 in cash.

The Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office said that translucent envelopes of the fatal drug were stacked on tables and shoved into boxes, plastic bags, and suitcases. Some of the envelopes were already packaged into color-coded bundles that were wrapped in plastic and waiting for delivery.

James J. Hunt, Special Agent-In-Charge for the DEA said: “When we entered the location, the heroin was packaged, branded and bundled.”

Hunt added, “Agents and officers estimate that in another 20 minutes, the heroin would have been shipped out the door to be sold on the streets of New York and tri-state areas.”

Bridget G. Brennan, Special Narcotics Prosecutor, stated that the “user-ready glassines” were “meant to flood our region with this deadly drug.”

She said, “This was a highly organized operation, equipped with desk lamps, boxes, the rows and rows of glassines, heroin-filled envelopes were clearly labeled with catchy brand names, like Red Bull and Sweet Dreams, packaged in color-coded neon plastic, and stored in suitcases obviously ready to be transported.”

Nine suspected members of the massive drug mill were arrested and awaited arraignment on Friday.

Among the alleged suspects, Fran Hernandez was apprehended for her ties to another mill bust in the Bronx that occurred back in March. The man was released on $10,000 bail when he was busted carrying one of the bags of cash from the University Heights’ residence.

Police also arrested Cesar Cabreja, 36, Carlos Cabrera, 48,  Antonio Jimenez, 43,  Ysmairy Burgos, 19, Anyelo Asiatico Geraldino, 32, and Carlos Concepcion Paniagui, 43.

Individuals living in the working-class community were shocked when they found out what happened.

A neighbor, Beverly McFarlan, said, “Nobody had any idea. They didn’t speak to anybody … They have all that money and they never even had a barbecue for the block!”

Heroin has increasingly grown to become a lethal epidemic in the New York area. Authorities believed that the massive amount of drugs were intended to be used for Fourth of July weekend.

The state Controller’s Office issued a report last month that said that heroin-related overdose deaths in New York are at an all-time high, with numbers rising faster over the past ten years than in almost any other state.

The report issued by the state Controller, Thomas DiNapoli, points to the fact that in 2014 heroin-related deaths in New York hit a high of 825, which increased by 24% of those in 2013 and is nearly 25 times greater than those that occurred a decade ago. As heroin-related overdoses continue to grow at epidemic proportions, the NYPD marks the drug bust as a victory.

NYPD Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said, “With overdoses occurring at an alarming rate, the NYPD and its law enforcement partners have pledged to aggressively pursue those who engage in the heroin trade,”

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