New York City Police Department

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Press Release | NO. 2005-046

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Press Release # 046
Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly Today Announced The Seizure Of Drugs And Cash And The Arrest Of 13 Individuals As Part Of The Takedown Of A Narcotics Operation In The Bronx

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced that members of the Department, working with federal law enforcement agencies, seized 50 kilos of heroin, $200,000 in cash and arrested 13 members of a drug ring in the Bronx. Members of the New York City Police Department's Organized Crime Investigation Division and Narcotics Division detectives on the multi-agency Strike Force, working with the DEA, the IRS and the FBI, developed information regarding a house located in the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx. The ensuing investigation identified the residence at 3166 Fenton Avenue as a possible drug location. Agents and officers immediately began around-the-clock surveillance.

On the afternoon of August 15, 2005, an individual identified as Rolando Valentin drove up to 3166 Fenton Avenue in a Range Rover and parked the vehicle. Valentin circled the block on foot looking at the people and the cars near the house. He stopped in a food store and carried two bags of groceries to the residence. After handing them off through the first-floor door, he returned to the vehicle and took another long look around and removed a large duffel bag from the Range Rover. He appeared to be very anxious as he made his way back to the front door of the house, repeatedly looking over his shoulder and moving cautiously.

Agents and officers approached Valentin in front of the house. When the officers identified themselves, Valentin tossed the bag inside to an individual who then slammed the door. Valentin denied any knowledge of the bag, the house or any activities that occur inside. At this point, an individual came out of the house and after briefly conferring with officers and agents, gave consent to enter and search the premises. Our officers, along with the federal agents, discovered a full-scale narcotics packaging and processing lab. Vast amount of heroin, piles of cash and several guns sat out in plain view. It is believed that the facility has been up and running for no more than four weeks.

Commissioner Kelly said: "Note that the scope and scale of this operation were significant. 47 of the 50 of the heroin recovered were ready for distribution to dealers further down the supply chain. Seizures like this one make it easier for our police officers to keep New Yorkers safe and improve the quality of life in the City."

Officers seized an estimated $200,000 in cash, 50 kilograms of heroin * 47 kilos of which was bricked and ready for transport * as well as, approximately one pound of black tar heroin, and seven handguns. Four of the weapons were stripped of their serial numbers. The street value of the narcotics is estimated to be more than six million dollars.

Officers also recovered various packaging supplies, including 21 cases of empty glassine envelopes, numerous coffee grinders which were used to cut and mix the drugs, several waffle irons for treating the glassine envelope and making them more pliable, rolls of tape and a large variety of stamps used to "brand" the drugs. In all, this operation produced 61 different "brands" of heroin with names such as HIV, Black Flag, Fully Loaded, Cancer, Heart Attack, and Apple Martini.

The basement of the residence appeared to be the main work area with immigrants from the Dominican Republic packaging the drugs around the clock. The windows were covered with cardboard and the packagers were not allowed to leave the premises. When officers entered the basement one female suspect attempted to elude capture by hiding in a clothes dryer. She was discovered and apprehended.

This investigation is ongoing.

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