DEA Busts NYC Drug Ring, Seizes Over $12 Million Worth of Heroin

© New York Drug Enforcement Task Force/TNS / Evidence photo of a Queens heroin mill bust.

DEA agents busted a major drug trafficker and seized more than $12 million worth of heroin, 1,000 fentanyl pills and $200,000 in cash from a Queens drug mill, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Luis Martinez is accused of running the sprawling drug packaging mill in Ridgewood, where he employed Sofia Medina, Maria Altagracia Berroa and Jacqueline Sosa de Espinal to help run his large-scale trafficking operation, Manhattan prosecutors said.

DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan described the setup as “a highly sophisticated heroin mill in the heart of Queens.”

“This drug den contained nearly $12 million dollars’ worth of narcotics and was like an opioid landmine capable of dispersing hundreds of thousands of heroin doses throughout (the) Northeast,” Donovan said in a statement.

Agents arrested Martinez walking down the street in Ridgewood around 4 p.m. Monday wearing a backpack containing four cell phones and more than $200,000 in cash, according to court filings.

Upon arriving at the second-floor apartment on Forest Ave. near Bleecker St., one of Martinez’s employees answered the door. Authorities found Sosa de Espinal and Berroa hiding in the bathroom with the lights off.

Two bedrooms in the apartment were set up for packaging heroin, prosecutors said. In one, agents found 31 kilogram-sized brick packages wrapped in duct tape allegedly containing heroin. They also discovered an additional 6 kilos of loose powder inside plastic containers and bags.

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SOURCE: NY Daily News, Molly Crane-Newman

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