Glassine envelopes of the deadly drug were piled on tables, and stuffed into boxes, suitcases and plastic bags
The drug haul was made during a cordinated raid on a three-story home in University Heights, by officers of a joint task force of the DEA, NYPD and State Police . The raid turned up what officers described as a heroin mill. The home had been under surveillance by the joint Drug Enforcement Task Force for some time.
According to the reports About 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, the team observed two men leaving the home with “heavily weighted bags,” and stopped them a short distance away from the house. A search revealed that the bags contained bundles of cash, amounting to $50,000.
Officers of theJoint Task Force, went up to the house to investigate and knocked on the front door, several people people attempted to flee the residence out of the back door, but ran straight into an ambush where more members of the joint task force were waiting.
“Out back they were coming out like crazy, but there was no way to get over the fence,” said one witness, a eye witness. Inside the house, investigators found an additional sum of $300,000 in cash and heroin bagged and piled everywhere. Glassine envelopes of the deadly drug were piled on tables and stuffed into boxes, suitcases and plastic bags. According to the office of the the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, some of the glassines were already bundled into color-coded packages that were wrapped in plastic and ready for delivery.
DEA Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Huntsaid:“When we entered the location, the heroin was packaged, branded and bundled,” “Agents and officers estimate that in another 20 minutes, the heroin would have been shipped out the door to be sold on the streets of New York and tri-state areas.”
The estimated street value of the drugs is $15 million. The Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan believes the “user-ready glassines” were “meant to flood our region with this deadly drug.”
“This was a highly organized operation, equipped with desk lamps, boxes, the rows and rows of glassines,” grinders and face masks, she said. “Heroin-filled envelopes were clearly labeled with catchy brand names, like Red Bull and Sweet Dreams, packaged in color-coded neon plastic, and stored in suitcases obviously ready to be transported.”
Eight alleged members of the heroin mill were awaiting arraignment on Friday.
One of the eight, Fran Hernandez, was arrested in another heroin mill bust in the Bronx back in March. He was out on $10,000 bail when he was busted carrying one of the bags of cash from the house. Astonished neighbors in the working-class neighborhood were astonished to find out they had a drug mill in their community:
“Nobody had any idea. They didn’t speak to anybody,” said next-door neighbor Beverly McFarlan. “They have all that money and they never even had a barbecue for the block!”.
Heroin has become a deadly plague in New York. A report last month from the state Controller’s office found heroin deaths in New York are at a record high, with overdose deaths in the state rising faster over the past decade than in most of the other states.