Authorities in New York State have made a record drug bust, seizing 33 kilograms of heroin and 2 kilograms of fentanyl.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the New York State Police announced the action Friday.
Schneiderman’s office says the seizure is the largest ever in the 46-year history of New York’s Organized Crime Task Force. The heroin alone is valued at $13 million. The investigation was called “Operation Dirty Dope” and led to the disruption of what Schneiderman’s office calls an alleged national heroin smuggling ring.
“Operation Dirty Dope is another step in our multi-faceted effort to curb the heroin crisis that is destroying our communities,” Schneiderman said. “Our message to dealers and traffickers is simple: we will not tolerate anyone smuggling death into our state. I want to thank all of our law enforcement partners across the country, especially the New York State Police and the Massachusetts DEA Task Force, who helped bring these defendants to justice.”
The investigation utilized confidential informants, wiretaps, and physical and video surveillance.
In the wiretaps, the defendants can allegedly be heard discussing plans to mix other chemicals — including chicken anesthetic, Novocain, acetone (nail polish remover), roach killer (boric acid), fentanyl, and more – in with the heroin to add to the bulk and value.
During bail arguments, it was also alleged that traffickers used people addicted to heroin as human guinea pigs to test the quality of the cut heroin, flagrantly disregarding whether the laced heroin would kill them or not.
25 individuals living in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Arizona and New Jersey have been indicted in connection with the case.
Those charged as major traffickers include:
- Daniel Abascal Pena
- Argenis Grullon, a/k/a “Alpha” or “Hanley”
- Reymon Rivera Ortiz, a/k/a “Dioco”
- Francisco Martinez Reyes, a/k/a “Viejo”
- Edwin Nunez Sierra, a/k/a La Papa
- Carlos Almonte, a/k/a Luis Rivera
- Carlos Hierro-Mata
- Luis Aude-Mora
Others indicted include:
- Manuel Castillano a/k/a “Cuñado”
- Manuel Amparo, a/k/a “Cacu”
- Tomas Salinas
- Hector Diaz, a/k/a “Shorty”
- Gisette Hernandez
- Jandhel Restituyo Vasquez
- Yeimy Matias
- Ryan Martinez
- Fernando Suero
- Oscarhyl Martinez Aude
- Manuel Torres, a/k/a “Raul”
- Amauris Sanchez
- Domingo Pena
- Juan Miguel Marte Javier
- Carlos Alberto Borges Perez
- Jose R. Rodriquez a/k/a “Rafa”
- Luis Martinez, a/k/a “Majimbe”
Those charged as major traffickers could face life in prison if convicted. All others could face 8 1/3 to 25 years if convicted.
Largest drug bust in our office’s history seized 35 kilos of heroin & fentanyl laced with chicken anesthetic and roach killer: pic.twitter.com/DbPjtWU2Rg— Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) September 23, 2016