A Bronx man was busted for allegedly trafficking 40 pounds of narcotics near a borough courthouse, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
Dujuan Soto, 56, was charged with operating as a major trafficker, multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a weapon.
“The volume and variety of drugs, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and two firearms recovered, signals that this was a fully operational illegal drug packaging and distribution center. It is hard to imagine a more audacious location than a building adjacent to the Bronx Family-Criminal Courthouse to set up a storehouse for deadly drugs like fentanyl, methamphetamine and the counterfeit pills that are saturating the black market in our city,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan.
According to court documents, Soto was arrested on March 29, 2022 following a short-term investigation by DEA New Jersey Division, Enforcement Group 2, and the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Narcotics Borough Queens North. On the day of the arrest, agents and officers were conducting surveillance outside 910 Sheridan Avenue, which is nearby the Bronx Family-Criminal Courthouse, and at 9:45 a.m., they allegedly observed Soto leave the building carrying a blue bag that appeared to contain a rectangular object.
Agents and officers stopped Soto after he got into a Jeep Grand Cherokee parked in front of 190 East 162nd Street and obtained court authorization to search the car and Soto’s residence at 910 Sheridan Avenue, Apt. K. At 3:25 p.m., agents and officers searched the Jeep and allegedly found the blue bag, which held a U.S. Postal Service package, with approximately $216,500 in alleged drug proceeds inside. A dollar figure was written on the box.
In the residence, officers allegedly found eight kilograms (approximately 18 pounds) of fentanyl and over three kilograms (nearly 8 pounds) of cocaine inside a locked closet in Soto’s bedroom. Some of the narcotics that were allegedly found were imprinted with a Mercedes symbol. The closet also allegedly contained approximately 15 pounds of methamphetamine packaged inside freezer bags and over 1,000 counterfeit oxycodone and alprazolam pills alleged to contain fentanyl, as well as multiple twists containing fentanyl and cocaine.
Agents also allegedly found two loaded 9mm pistols with additional ammunition under Soto’s bed. Over $107,100 in cash, a money counter, digital scales, a vacuum sealer and two kilo presses were also allegedly seized from the apartment.
District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said, “We are grateful to have such great law enforcement partners with Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan, the NYPD and DEA, to continue to stem the tide of deadly drugs coming into our city. Fentanyl and methamphetamine are particularly destructive to lives and communities. This is one more effort to try to save our communities from the ravages of these drugs.”