Six Bronx residents were arrested in connection to a large-scale heroin/fentanyl packaging mill in the borough’s Crotona neighborhood that aimed to distribute 55 pounds of the deadly drugs throughout New York City and Massachusetts, prosecutors announced Monday.
Randy Ledesma, 27, Alexis Rosario Sabrino, 29, Jose Mora, 52, Darwin Taveras Santos, 30, Miguel Then Serverino, 42, and Dayson Taveras, 23, were all charged with varying degrees of criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.
“The mass production and distribution of fentanyl is fueling record numbers of overdose deaths across New York City and the nation,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan. “The investigation and arrests announced today, resulting in the ultimate destruction of hundreds of thousands of glassines of lethal drugs, will undoubtedly prevent many deaths. Drug traffickers who attempt to profit by widely distributing deadly drugs will face appropriate consequences for the harm they have caused.”
The charges stemmed from a court-authorized raid executed by the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force of an apartment at 2120 Crotona Ave. at 6:22 p.m. on the night of Aug. 4. The apartment is across the street from PS 57 Crescent and also nearby the Bronx Zoo.
As the task force attempted to gain entry to the apartment, officers and agents saw the six defendants climbing up the fire escape to the building’s roof. After seeing officers and agents stationed on the roof of the five-story building, the six men turned around to move down the fire escape and were detained between the second and fourth floors.
Once inside the apartment, officers determined that the front door had allegedly been fortified with extra deadbolts and a peep-hole outfitted with a camera. In the bedroom, agents allegedly found a suitcase containing 300,000 glassine envelopes filled with heroin/fentanyl, and another 7,000 glassines of heroin/fentanyl were allegedly inside a bedroom closet.
Court documents allege that approximately 200,000 glassines of heroin/fentanyl, and another 5.5 kilograms of narcotics packaged in brick form, were found in the living room. Agents also recovered multiple stamps for labeling glassines and multiple grinders for mixing narcotics.
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said, “This investigation by Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan and the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force has dismantled a major heroin and fentanyl mill, located right across the street from one public school, within three blocks of two others and four blocks from the Bronx Zoo, and intercepted 55 pounds of drugs that would have ravaged lives throughout the city. Traffickers are brazenly embedding themselves in our communities and we will not tolerate it. We will keep working to stop them from using the Bronx as a hub for narcotics distribution.”
Three more people are being prosecuted in Massachusetts by the Hampden County District Attorney in connection to this bust.
On Aug. 3, prior to the search of the Bronx apartment, agents conducting surveillance allegedly observed Carlos Cordova outside of the apartment driving a Honda Civic with Massachusetts license plates. Two other men, Josue Vazquez and Angel Rivera, were alleged in the car with him.
At 10:10 p.m. that night, a vehicle stop in the vicinity of Springfield, MA allegedly uncovered more than 5,000 glassines of heroin/fentanyl stamped “Yeezy” were recovered from the trunk of the vehicle, and the three men were subsequently arrested.
DEA laboratory analysis of the narcotics seized in New York and Massachusetts is pending.