Sixteen people have been arrested after federal and local authorities said they uncovered a drugs-on-demand service that distributed cocaine, heroin and enough of the ultra-powerful opioid fentanyl to kill 6 million people throughout the tri-state area.
Police and drug enforcement agents seized more than 25 pounds fentanyl, 13 pounds of heroin, 6 pounds of cocaine, various quantities of crack and more than $175,000 in drug proceeds while investigating the Bronx-based drug ring that in at least one instance packaged drugs in Papa Smurf-branded bags over the last six months.
“This investigation helped shut down a multi-state narcotics operation that dealt in cocaine, heroin and deadly fentanyl,” said NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill. “If these defendants thought they could hide behind a call-in drug delivery service they underestimated the reach of the Bronx District Attorney's Office and the DEA Strike Force.”
Authorities said the drug ring smuggled drugs to New York City from Florida and other locales, then distributed them in the Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester County and New Jersey. At least two of the suspects sold cocaine to advertising and real estate professionals through the on-call delivery service, while others peddled drugs at the street level.
Eleven of those who face charges were arrested in a takedown on Nov. 15 and have already been arraigned. Three other suspects were arrested in New Jersey and Florida and are awaiting extradition.
One of the co-conspirators -- arrested on Nov. 7 -- even jumped out of a second story window at a Manhattan hotel room with more than $30,000 in an attempt to evade authorities during one drug deal. Police seized 22 pounds of fentanyl and five pounds of heroin in that instance.
The case was investigated by DEA New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, a team comprised of several federal and local law enforcement agencies.