Authorities have arrested two New York City-based traffickers involved in a multimillion dollar drug distribution network, while also making the region's largest drug seizure of 2014, officials said.
The men, Guillermo Esteban Margarin, 33, of the Bronx, and Edualin Tapia, 28, also of the Bronx, are part of a drug ring responsible for supplying heroin, cocaine, and other narcotics throughout the Northeast, authorities said.
After a six-month investigation, federal, state and local authorities arrested the pair Friday while seizing 53 pounds of heroin -- worth about $11 million -- as well as 20 pounds of cocaine, $85,000 cash, and several guns, including two assault rifles, officials said.
The drugs were being transported from the city for delivery in Connecticut when authorities swooped in, authorities said.
"These seizures and arrests demonstrate that New York City is ground zero of heroin distribution networks supplying the Northeast, as well as being the prime market Mexican drug traffickers are using to earn profit from the sale of poison," Drug Enforcement Agency acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt said.
Two hundred Molly pills -- similar to Ecstasy -- were also seized during the investigation, officials said.
Margarin and Tapia are both charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy. They are being held in Connecticut while awaiting extradition to New York, authorities said.
Authorities said the busts and drug seizure dealt a blow to cartels who traffic heroin and cocaine from Mexico to the city, where it is then shipped to Long Island, New England, and other areas throughout the Northeast.
"These arrests cut a pipeline moving huge amounts of heroin from New York City to the Northeast," said the city's special narcotics prosecutor, Bridget Brennan.