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Biggest heroin bust nets 70 kilos; 2 men held on drug charges

The evidence seems to be mounting that the use of heroin is growing by epidemic proportions in New York City. That warning has been repeated by numerous drug enforcement officials recently. But actual proof of the extent of the problem was allegedly revealed by DEA officials and others on May 17 with the arrest and filing of drug charges against two men after a year-long investigation in the Bronx. Authorities seized 70 kilograms of heroin with a purported street value of $50 million.

Authorities are alleging that it is the biggest DEA seizure of heroin ever in the state of New York, and the fourth biggest in the country. Officials indicated that their investigation was comprised of wiretaps and surveillance. They said that the drugs were smuggled across the border and driven north to be distributed in New York and four other adjacent or nearby states.

Officials also reported that the shipments have been coming north once a month from the Mexican city of Culiacán, which is an area under the control of the infamous Sinaloa Cartel. The only two people arrested were a 46-year-old man and his 19-year-old associate. The charges included 'operating as a major drug trafficker,' which carries a maximum penalty under federal law of 25 years to life in prison.

Apparently, the drugs were found in two vehicles driven by the two defendants. About $2 million in cash was found in a New York apartment allegedly used for stashing contraband. It remains to be seen how these two men could run what the authorities described as a five-state operation and how they could manage to get such large amounts of heroin distributed. If the authorities are correct in their descriptions of the massive scope of the business, there must yet be a large network of participants in the field. It is imperative that each defendant gets his own trusted counsel quickly due to the many options open for moving forward in defense of these serious drug charges.

Source: New York Daily News, "70 kg of heroin snagged in the Bronx is biggest DEA seizure in New York State history", Keldy Ortiz, Barry Paddock, Larry McShane, May 19, 2015

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