A Bronx man was arrested after authorities allegedly found 50 pounds of narcotics in an apartment, prosecutors announced Thursday.
Samuel Rojas-Camacho, 59, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third Degrees and criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree.
“This case illustrates how narcotics flow from state to state, with large amounts of fentanyl and heroin continuing to flood New York City. Traffickers take great pains to conceal drug shipments that sell for millions of dollars, in this case inside a table outfitted with a hidden trap compartment,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan. “Overdose rates remain at record-high levels, with the majority of deaths attributed to fentanyl.”
According to court documents, following an ongoing investigation, at 9 p.m. on Nov. 7 agents and officers stopped a green Jaguar sedan at the southwest corner of Jerome Avenue and East 233rd Street, and Rojas-Camacho was a passenger in the vehicle. The investigation revealed that Rojas-Camacho had allegedly traveled out of the state that day and had been previously seen on video surveillance footage entering and exiting the lobby of an apartment building located at 3535 Dekalb Avenue, a suspected drug stash location, on approximately three occasions.
At 10 p.m. that night, members of NYDETF Group T-21 arrived at 3535 Dekalb Avenue and conducted a search inside apartment 5B. The agents allegedly uncovered 11 brick-shaped packages of fentanyl/heroin containing approximately one kilogram of narcotics each, 5 hockey puck-shaped packages containing fentanyl/heroin, and a large plastic bag containing fentanyl/heroin from inside a concealed compartment in a coffee table.
In the bedroom, agents allegedly found a shoebox that contained more fentanyl/heroin, and in the closet there were glassine envelopes stamped with the brand name “Skull Crusher,” empty glassines and plastic bags of fentanyl/heroin All of the equipment and paraphernalia necessary for packaging narcotics was allegedly present in the apartment, such as coffee grinders, rubber gloves, an air purifier and a scale. Bank receipts and medicine bottles in Rojas-Camacho’s name were also allegedly recovered from the apartment.
The drugs allegedly totaled 23 kilograms and had an estimated street value of $7 million. A subsequent field test on some of the narcotics yielded positive results for fentanyl and heroin, though further analysis is pending.
“This apartment contained 23 kilograms/50lbs of fentanyl/heroin concealed in a secret compartment of a coffee table,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino. “Removing this fentanyl/heroin from our streets is the equivalent of saving thousands of lives. Rojas-Camacho is one of many drug traffickers in our city who spread poison throughout our communities. I applaud the efforts our law enforcement officers, agents, and prosecutors who investigate and arrest those responsible for fueling drug poisonings.”
Rojas-Camacho was arraigned on Nov. 8 and is currently being held on bail at $100,000 cash/$100,000 bond/$200,000 partially secured bond.
“The NYPD and our law enforcement partners work tirelessly to rid our city of illegal drugs,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “And we will pursue, arrest, and hold accountable anyone who seeks to profit from this poison. I want to thank the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York, the New York Division of the DEA, the New York State Police, and everyone else involved in this case for their outstanding work.”
State Police Acting Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli said, “Through our continued partnership, we have prevented a large amount of dangerous drugs from reaching our neighborhoods, in all likelihood preventing a number of overdoses. This suspect was set to profit from the sale of these narcotics with absolutely no regard for the damage that would have been inflicted to our communities. I commend the work of our members and our partners on the task force for their relentless efforts to stem the flow of dangerous drugs into our state.”