NY authorities seize over 72 pounds of heroin in record drug bust

NEW YORK (NEWS10) – New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, New York State Police, and the Massachusetts DEA Task Force announced the indictment of more than two dozen people accused of being part of a national heroin smuggling ring.
The Attorney General’s Office says the investigation, dubbed “Operation Dirty Dope,” seized more than 33 kilos of heroin and two kilos of Fentanyl. The total street value is more than $13 million.
“Operation Dirty Dope is another step in our multi-faceted effort to curb the heroin crisis that is destroying our communities,” Attorney General 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.”
According to the indictment, unsealed in Bronx County Court, found that a sophisticated drug ring moved most of the drugs from Mexico into Tuscon, Arizona. From Arizona, the drugs were then allegedly moved in hidden compartments in cars from Arizona to the Bronx, Washington Heights, and Pennsylvania. From there, the traffickers are accused of moving the drugs to sell in Suffolk County and the central Massachusetts town of Leominster.
Investigators used confidential informants, wiretaps, and physical and video surveillance.

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”

Police say the investigation began with the New York State Police Troop L Narcotics Enforcement Unit in April 2015. That investigation, according to the Attorney General’s Office, netted alleged drug dealers and traffickers in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and New Jersey.

The bust is being called one of the largest heroin seizures ever in New York and the single largest single seizure in the 46-year history of the state’s Organized Crime Task Force.

The Attorney General’s Office says the bust also seized 300 grams of cocaine, two semi-automatic handguns (including one with a drug cartel’s insignia) and eight vehicles (four of which contained sophisticated concealed compartments).

Read the indictment.

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