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The Drug Enforcement Administration on Tuesday arrested two men in connection to a large-scale heroin/fentanyl packaging and distribution operation in the Bronx.
The heroin/fentanyl packages, with a street value of nearly $2 million, were intercepted during a short-term investigation, the DEA said in a release. The narcotics were destined for distribution throughout New York City and Massachusetts.
Agents were conducting surveillance of an apartment in the Bronx’s Fordham Manor neighborhood around 12:23 p.m. Tuesday. The agents believed the location was being used as a narcotics mill.
Agents observed an individual – later identified as 23-year-old Diego Tejada-Rosario – leave the building carrying a gray backpack and walk south. Just minutes later another individual – later identified as 23-year-old Victor Camacho – leave the same apartment carrying a multi-colored tote shopping back and get into a taxi.
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Agents stopped Tejada around 12:40 p.m. and searched the bag and recovered more than a kilogram of heroin/fentanyl, as well as empty glassine envelopes, stamps, an ink pad, a digital scale, a drug ledger, and other materials associated with packaging narcotics, the DEA said.
Around 12:45 p.m. agents stopped the taxi Camacho was riding. The multi-colored tote bag Camacho had been seen with contained thousands of empty glassine envelopes inside, the DEA said.
Later that day, the DEA obtained a search warrant and entered the apartment they had been surveilling earlier in the afternoon. Agents and investigators recovered more drug packages and other drug-related paraphernalia, the DEA said. They also found a Dominican Republic passport with Tejada’s photo, but with a different name.
Tejada and Camacho were arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday. It wasn’t immediately clear if they had retained attorneys who could speak on their behalf.
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Tejada was previously charged with drug-related offenses in early 2020 but because of bail reforms that took effect around that time, he was released on supervised released, the DEA said. He was arraigned on an indictment in Manhattan Supreme Court on August 3, 2021 but failed to appear at the next scheduled court date and a judge issued a bench warrant for Tejada on November 18, 2021.