Bronx fentanyl bust turns up 11 arrests and $4 million in laced heroin: Prosecutors

Glassine envelopes containing fentanyl-laced heroin
Glassines filled with fentanyl and heroin found inside a suspected packaging mill operating out of a Bronx apartment on Nov. 1, 2023.
Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor

Eleven people were cuffed and some $4 million in fentanyl-laced heroin were seized in connection with the recent raid of an alleged Bronx drug packing mill, law enforcement sources announced Monday.

Federal, state and local agents recovered up to 400,000 packages of suspected narcotics were found inside an apartment at 1244 Grand Concourse during a Nov. 1 raid, New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said. It was the latest narcotics takedown in the Bronx weeks after a 1-year-old child died at a local day care facility after he and other tots were exposed to fentanyl stored at the location.

“Not only is exposure to lethal drugs a risk to innocent residents when a half million small packages of lethal drugs are bagged in a neighboring apartment, but their security may be compromised as well,” Brennan said in a Nov. 6 statement. “Across the city, New Yorkers are suffering the loss of precious lives to deadly drugs, and are fed up with every aspect of fentanyl trafficking.”

Among those indicted in connection with the raid include 11 Bronx residents: Aremedis Rivera, 41; Richard Manuel-Rivera, 28; John Luis-Reyes, 36; Oscar Taveras, 32; Miguel Delacruz, 29; Heriberto Rivera, 43; Ivan Carlos-Serrano, 23; Juan Rivera, 44; Juan Serrano, 26; Kelvin Ledesma, 26; and Luis Ledesma, 38.

Each were charged with first- and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia. 

Table top containing loose and packaged fentanyl-laced heroin
A table top covered in loose and packaged fentanyl-laced heroin found inside the Grand Concourse apartment during the Nov. 1 raid.Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor

The Grand Concourse raid was the result of a months-long investigation by the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, which includes members of the NYPD, the New York State Police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Using both physical and electronic surveillance, agents determined that 10 people were observed regularly going into and out of the apartment carrying items suspected in the use of processing drugs.

At about 11 a.m. on Nov. 1, law enforcement sources said, agents spotted Aremedis Rivera enter the location, followed a few hours later by Juan Rivera. Shortly before 5 p.m., Rivera then exited the building while carrying two large reusable shopping bags. 

Prosecutors said he then entered a livery cab which traveled several blocks before being dropped off at Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center. There, agents stopped him and seized the bags he carried.

Meanwhile, over the next hour, agents keeping watch on the Grand Concourse location spotted Heriboerto Rivera walk out of the location, followed by Luis Ledesma. Shortly thereafter, an irate tenant then exited the location complaining about men attempting to enter his apartment.

That led task force members to finally run into the building, where they apprehended John Reyes in the lobby. While freezing the location, officers located three other suspects — Oscar Taveras, Juan Rivera and Miguel Delacruz — on the roof, and four others (Ivan Carlos-Serrano, Juan Serrano, Kelvin Ledesma and Richard Manuel-Rivera) hiding under the roof’s solar panels.

Bags that contained fentanyl-laced heroin
Two bags containing fentanyl-laced heroin packets that Aremidas Rivera allegedly carried out of the apartment.Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor

Police later executed a permitted search of the bags seized from Aremedis Rivera, finding contained there in 100,000 glassine envelopes of fentanyl-laced heroin packed into tightly-bound bricks. They also executed a court-authorized search of the apartment, locating hundreds of thousands of additional drug-filled glassine envelopes, as well as quantities of loose powdered fentanyl; and various drug packaging paraphernalia. 

At approximately 11:15 p.m., agents and officers conducted court-authorized searches of the two bags seized from Aremedis RIVERA. Inside the bags were approximately 100,000 glassine envelopes containing fentanyl/heroin, packaged into brick-shaped squares, wrapped in magazine paper.