Federal, state and local officials in New York City announced they have shut down a drug trafficking operation that was shuttling heroin hidden inside furniture from Mexico through Bronx into Massachusetts.
Law enforcement on Saturday moved in on a self-storage company in the Bronx and arrested three men, and seized $4.1 million in cash and 3 kilograms – or more than 6 1/2 pounds – of heroin. In the glove compartment of one of the vehicles, officials found a bottle of commercially available fox urine.
Officials said they believe it was being used to throw police-sniffing dogs off the scent of heroin.
According to the office of New York City Special Narcotic Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan, the trafficking ring operated from the Mexican-Texas border, to the Bronx, and to Lawrence. Heroin hidden in furniture would be loaded into a moving van and driven to Lawrence. The same van would make the same trip from Lawrence, only the same furniture would be stuffed with cash.
“This investigation demonstrates how lucrative and highly organized the lethal narcotics trade has become. With this seizure, we intercepted not only three kilograms of heroin, but over $4.1 million dollars that likely would have been used to purchase another 65 kilograms,” Brennan said in a prepared statement.
The potential toll on human lives cannot be measured, she said.
The raid was conducted by the members of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, Homeland Security, the New York State Police and New York City police.
Arrested with Bronx residents Jorge Pizarro, Manuel Angeles and Nelson DeJesus. An unnamed 4th suspect, who owned a Dodge Caravan found at the scene and who rented the cargo van, remains at large, according to officials.
Each was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First and Third Degrees. At their arraignments in Manhattan Criminal Court, each denied the charges. Bail for Pizzaro was set at $750,000, $300,000 for DeJesus, and $100,000 for Angeles.
Bronx to Lawrence is practically a straight shot along I-95 and then I-395 through Hartford and Worcester, for a total distance of around 215 miles.
A map of the route follows.