Six people were arrested after $7 million worth of heroin and fentanyl were found inside a Bronx apartment.
Livo Valdez, 25, Jaslin Baldera, 24, Frederick Baldera, 23, Frandi Ledema, 23, Diego Tejada, 21, and Pafraimy Antonio, 21, are charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees and criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree. They are currently awaiting arraignment on Tuesday evening in Manhattan Criminal Court.
“The sheer volume of heroin and fentanyl packages assembled in a small apartment just off the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx is shocking. Even veteran narcotics investigators were surprised by the output of this packaging operation, which was run out of a nondescript apartment in the borough afflicted by the city’s highest rate of overdose death,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan. “The arrests of six individuals, and seizure of 750,000 drug filled envelopes destined for distribution here and in New England, underscore New York City’s role as a hub for mass distribution of deadly drugs. I thank the Drug Enforcement Task Force and the investigators and prosecutors from the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for their dedication and commitment to preventing lethal drugs from ever reaching our communities.”
According to charges, members of the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force (NYDETF), Group T-12, and investigators with the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor (SNP) conducted a long-term investigation at an apartment building located at 2559 Sedgwick Avenue, starting on Jan. 24. That day, investigators allegedly saw eight people enter apartment 6A at the building carrying furnishings and equipment that are typically used in packaging heroin and fentanyl, including a glass table, plastic containers, desk lamps and folding chairs.
On Jan. 25, investigators allegedly saw individuals carrying weighted black plastic garbage bags into Apt. 6A, as well as a female carrying 15 bags of groceries into the building and into the apartment.
Charges say that at 7:25 p.m. on Jan. 27, investigators executed a court-authorized search warrant of the apartment, where they allegedly found the six defendants in the middle of packaging powder-filled glassine envelopes stamped with the brand “Fire” into bundles. The search also allegedly uncovered hundreds of thousands of glassine envelopes, which covered two table tops and overflowed from plastic bins and cardboard boxes on the floor and a bed, a glass table, desk lamps, a scale, grinders, empty glassine envelopes, small spoons, an ink bottle, ink pads and stamps.
The black market value of the drugs is estimated at $7 million. Results of laboratory analysis of the seized narcotics are pending. It is believed that the drugs were destined for New York City and Massachusetts.