Three alleged drug dealers were busted in the Bronx with $5 million worth of heroin — including packages branded with the name “El Chapo,” officials announced Friday.
“The successful investigation announced today disrupted the flow of millions of dollars’ worth of heroin to our city and region,” said the city’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan in a statement. “Reducing the supply of lethal addictive narcotics remains our most effective prevention tool.”
On July 16, agents were surveilling a street in the Allerton neighborhood when they spotted Luis Carmona-Ilarraza stroll out of 3039 Wallace Ave. with a heavy shopping bag, which he placed on the rear floor of a Toyota Corolla, according to the special narcotics prosecutor.
Agents pulled over the Corolla and discovered 70,000 glassines of heroin in the shopping bag and slapped Carmona-Ilarraza in cuffs, authorities said.
The next day, agents reviewed surveillance video taken of the Wallace Avenue building. A man, later identified as Joseph Medina-Hidalgo, handed an associate, later identified as Amaury Lora-Grullon, a large suitcase, which Lora-Grullon placed in the trunk of a 2013 black Toyota Camry. Investigators tracked down the car, pulled Lora-Grullon over, discovered 17,000 glassines of heroin in the suitcase and arrested him
Twenty minutes later, agents executed a search warrant at 3039 Wallace Ave., Apartment 4D, and discovered a sprawling narcotics mill with heroin-filled glassine envelopes piled on tables, in bags and on the floor.
Authorities seized 3 kilograms (6½ pounds) in brick form and 170,000 glassines of heroin ready for distribution in New York and the Northeast, officials said.
The haul of paraphernalia included grinders and 47 stamps used to brand the heroin. The stamps included “El Chapo,” “Dunkin Donuts,” “Rolex,” “NBA” and “Superman.”
The bust was the result of a joint investigation by the city’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor and the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force.
Medina-Hidalgo is awaiting arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court. Lora-Grullon and Carmona Ilarraza were previously arraigned and pleaded not guilty.
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