Record Drug Bust In New York: Authorities Seize 33 Kilos Of Heroin
New York State authorities are reporting a record drug bust after confiscating 33 kilos (73 pounds) of heroin, as well as 2 kilograms (4½ pounds) of fentanyl and a gun with the logo of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel on it..
According to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the massive seizure, an estimated street value of $13 million, is the largest in New York's Organized Crime Task Force's 46-year history.
25 people in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Arizona were indicted as a part of "Operation Dirty Dope," which broke up the alleged national heroin smuggling ring. Newsday reports that the investigation began in 2015, after State Police were put on to a spike in the heroin trade in Brentwood, Long Island.
“Long Island is facing a very severe heroin and opioid problem,” he said. Of the investigation, he added, “It was pretty much a countywide problem. It started off in Brentwood, but it was a huge problem out there.”
The drugs were reportedly stashed inside very intricate secret compartments in cars and vans before being transported through Tucson, Arizona to the Bronx, across the East coast. The culprits would allegedly cut up the heroin with nail polish remover, novocain, chicken anesthetic and boric acid before distributing it on the streets.
Schneiderman said the compartments to conceal the drugs were a “very sophisticated operation.” In one example, he said, opening the drug-containing trap required turning on the windshield wiper, turning on a blinker, then activating a window switch in the right direction.
Authorities say all but one of the Suffolk County defendants were arrested during the raid, except for Manuel Torres who remains at large.