Investigators said more than 24 kilos of heroin -- about 53 pounds -- worth $11 million were seized in raids on two Bronx apartments and through tracking cars carrying drug shipments. Cocaine and three guns were also found during the raids. Authorities say the heroin bust is the biggest so far this year.
Officials said the Bronx-based heroin operation was based in a seventh-floor apartment on Orloff Avenue and another apartment on Patterson Avenue. Agents said they also discovered a storage facility used by the alleged drug dealers on Zerega Avenue.
Edualin Tapia and Guillermo Esteban Margarin, two suspected ringleaders, were arrested as they allegedly drove boxes of heroin to Hartford. Investigators allege the two men were carrying the heroin in plain view in uncovered boxes. In Hartford, agents searched the apartment where the suspects were headed and allegedly found other suspects trying to pour heroin down a sink in an effort to avoid arrest.
In a statement, New York Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said the arrests "cut a pipeline moving huge amounts of heroin from New York City to the Northeast."