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Bronx heroin crew pushed powder packaged under ‘Coronavirus’ label: DEA

Photos from the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor For the City of New York

Law enforcement agents connected a major heroin ring circulating around the northeast U.S. to six now indicted Bronx residents.

Police seized 120,000 glassine envelopes of suspected heroin and fentanyl worth over a million dollars, stamped as “24 Black Mamba,” “Hiroshima,” “Isis,” “Antrax,” “95,” and even “Coronavirus,”  in addition to $25,000 cash and drug packaging materials.

A long-term investigation into a narcotics trafficking operation resulted in the arrest of Dariel Fermin, Manuel Morillo, Frank Marte Urena, Cindy Cortoreal, Yamilka Fermin, and Ana Lora Diaz on major trafficking and other drug related charges, according to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor For the City of New York earlier today.

A surveillance operation centered on Fermin, the defendant facing the top charges, which led members of the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, and other investigators to identify a packaging mill location at the west end of Fordham Road.

Agents and investigators observed an individual later identified as Morillo exiting the address while carrying a heavy brown bag and place the bag into a cab at approximately 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, according to investigators.

Undercover units followed the car away from the location and stopped it at it approached the George Washington Bridge, arresting driver Urena after a search of the brown bag yielded approximately 80,000 glassines of suspected heroin and fentanyl. 

Surveillance continued at the west Bronx address, where agents and investigators saw a woman, later identified as Yamilka Fermin, exit an apartment carrying a heavy black bag, according to law enforcement sources.

Agents and investigators stopped her and recovered approximately 40,000 glassines and multiple zip lock bags containing loose powder suspected to be heroin and fentanyl from inside the bag.

Soon afterwards, Dariel Fermin, Morillo and two other individuals left the apartment, only to be detained by agents while police obtained a warrant to search the apartment.

Once granted, agents and officers recovered $25,000 cash from two bedrooms of the apartment, as well as all of the packaging equipment and paraphernalia typical of a heroin fentanyl mill, such as strainers, grinders, gloves, stamps and ink pads.

Further review of the 120,000 heroin and fentanyl filled glassine envelopes seized from the two bags revealed the stampings that were used to brand the drugs. 

That particular batch of narcotics are believed to have been destined for New York City and New Jersey, according to prosecutors.

The “Coronavirus” biohazard and “24 Black Mamba” stamps are associated with multiple fatal overdoses in New Jersey.

However, these deaths have not been linked to the packaging mill dismantled in this case.

Fermin is charged with operating as a major trafficker, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree and criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree.

The other five defendants arrested at the Bronx apartment are charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree and criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree.

Frank Gilberto Marte Urena is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree.

The defendants are scheduled for arraignment this evening in Manhattan Criminal Court, according to law enforcement sources.

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