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Tag: bust

DEA Arrests 2 in Largest-Ever Seizure of Heroin in NYC History

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The bust was so big that federal authorities are already calling it the largest seizure of heroin in New York City history.

The DEA helped nab a pair of suspected Bronx drug traffickers in what turned out to be the largest seizure of heroin in the city’s history, NBC New York reports.

Agents seized more than 150 pounds of heroin that is worth at least $50 million. An additional $2 million in cash.

Investigators believe the traffickers routinely received similar-size shipments every month from Mexico and supplied the deadly, addictive drug to users in New York, Pennsylvania and New England.

“To put it in perspective, this load was so large it carried the potential of supplying a dose of heroin to every man, woman and child in New York City,” Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said in a statement. “While this important seizure stopped a huge amount of heroin from flooding our city, it also highlights the critical need to intercept heroin before it ever reaches our region.”

Other Stories of Interest


Buffalo Officer Accused of Links to Drug and Being an FBI Informant

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Buffalo Police feel duped after hiring an officer who was accused of overseeing a major marijuana grow operation and  had worked as an FBI informant before his hire, the Buffalo News reports.

Jorge Melendez became an FBI informant in New York after a wire tap caught him talking to drug dealers, police told the Buffalo News. That was before he was hired by the police force.

“He was working as a confidential informant for the FBI in New York City shortly before he joined the Buffalo Police Department several years ago,” a police official familiar with the marijuana operation said Monday, according to the paper.

The police department fired Melendez earlier this month after he was arrested by the feds for overseeing a major pot growing operation in South Buffalo. The paper reported that he often drove up to the operation in a patrol car on duty and in uniform.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said his department is examining its screening process for new officers.

Melendez, 41, is on house arrest at his apartment as part of a $250,000 bond.

Drug Trafficking Rings Exploited Commercial Airlines

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Details of Thursdays’ massive drug bust reveal an ongoing game of whack-a-mole between the DEA and drug smugglers working the commercial airline systems.

In this recent bust the DEA and FBI, in concert with Puerto Rican and local authorities, disabled two rings trafficking cocaine into the U.S., primarily through Puerto Rico Muniz International Airport.

ABC reports that one ring was allegedly led by Maribel Rodriguez Fragoso, known as La Flaca or “the Skinny Woman.” Between 2010 and 2012, La Flaca’s ring used airport baggage handlers to load cocaine-stuffed luggage onto commercial flights headed to cities all along the East Coast.

The second ring’s nine year run ended with the 2009 DEA operation Heavy Cargo. Allegedly led by American Airlines worker Wilfredo Rodriguez Rosado, fellow American Airlines employees smuggled more than 9000 kilos of cocaine into the U.S. mainland, says ABC. Heavy Cargo saw 23 people, including 9 American Airlines employees, indicted. Rodriguez and 21 others pleaded guilty.

Wednesday the DEA announced 20 more indictments related to Rosado’s American Airlines ring.

DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Caribbean Division, Pedro Janer said of the repeated and ongoing incidences of drug smugglers exploiting holes in airport security, the “DEA will continue to dismantle these organizations that think they can blatantly use legitimate entities to carry out their smuggling operations.”

This weeks’ 45 indictments and 36 arrests are a good start.

To read more click here.

DEA’s El Paso Intelligence Center Pretty Much a Bust, IG Report Says

el paso map istockBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — An Inspector General report released Tuesday concludes that the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), opened by the DEA in 1974 to identify drug dealers south of the border is pretty much a bust, the website Spy Talk reports.

Spy Talk’s Jeff Stein reports that the 86-page report “was a virtual laundry list of seemingly intractable problems at the border intelligence post.”

“EPIC could not produce a complete record of drug seizures nationwide because of incomplete reporting into the National Seizure System, which is managed by EPIC,” Glenn A. Fine, chief of the Office of the Inspector General, reported, according to Spy Talk.

“EPIC had not sustained the staffing for some key interdiction programs, such as its Fraudulent Document unit, its Air Watch unit, or its Maritime Intelligence unit….” Fine added.

To read more click here.

Read IG Report