Nineteen people have been indicted in a massive drug trafficking investigation in the Bronx that officials say resulted in the seizure of 176 pounds of cocaine with a street value estimated at nearly $3 million.
The year-long investigation — a joint operation by the NYPD, Bronx district attorney’s office, Homeland Security Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration — culminated with three indictments totaling 227 counts of criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy. Two of the suspects — Alvon Pierre and Elvis Gomez — each face an additional charge of operating as a major trafficker.
In one of the indictments, the suspects are accused of selling large quantities of cocaine to drug dealers, who repackaged the bulk product into $10 or $20 packets that were sold in the area of Valentine Avenue at East 187th Street and nearby Grand Concourse in Fordham Heights, Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said.
Another indictment alleges that five of the suspects distributed so-called club drugs, including MDMA, alprazolam and ketamine, at nightclubs across the city. Two of the suspects are accused of trying to obtain 1.25 pounds of controlled substances from overseas through international mail, but the pills were intercepted by authorities in Brussels, according to the Bronx district attorney’s office.
“We will stop traffickers of any illicit drugs that devastate lives and neighborhoods,” Clark said in a statement Wednesday. “These defendants allegedly distributed large amounts of cocaine sold on the streets of the Bronx, and peddled dangerous ‘date rape’ drugs that wind up in bars and nightclubs.”
HSI New York Special Agent in Charge Angel M. Melendez said the drug bust will decrease the number of potential overdoses in the city by “thousands.”
“This is a case of street dealers joining forces to corner the market for cocaine on the street and in clubs around the city,” Melendez said in a statement. “This high-profit business simply seeks to exploit the vulnerabilities of those addicted, while seeking new customers in the club scene.”
Fourteen of the suspects were arrested in a May 1 law enforcement operation. Twelve of those suspects have been arraigned in Bronx Supreme Court and two more are awaiting arraignment, according to the Bronx district attorney’s office. Five defendants named in the indictments, including Gomez, have not yet been apprehended.