NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Two Bronx men involved in a massive, multi-state drug distribution ring were arrested and more than 50 pounds of heroin was seized following a six month investigation, authorities announced Monday.
Edualin Tapia and Guillermo Esteban Margarin were arrested in Hartford, Conn. Friday. They face charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy.
Agents with a special joint task force known as "Group T-42" had been keeping them under surveillance, prosecutors said. Group T-42 is made up of DEA agents, NYPD detectives and New York State Police investigators.
Feds Bust $11 Million Heroin Shipment, Smash Distribution Ring - WCBS 880's Irene Cornell Reports
The two were spotted Thursday at a suspected "heroin mill" on Orloff Avenue in the Bronx, where the drug is processed and packaged, prosecutors told 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria.
Friday morning, agents tailed them as they drove two cars loaded with heroin to Hartford, according to authorities.
Feds Bust $11 Million Heroin Shipment, Smash Distribution Ring - 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria Reports
As agents swooped in to make the arrest, the two were apparently trying to pour the drug down the sink.
Agents recovered 23 kilos of heroin - nearly 53 pounds - along with $75,000 in cash, authorities said. Further search warrants turned up nearly 10 kilos of cocaine, 200 "Molly" pills, $10,000 in cash, two assault rifles and a handgun, prosecutors said.
The heroin is worth about $11 million, WCBS 880's Irene Cornell reported.
"These arrests cut a pipeline moving huge amounts of heroin from New York City to the Northeast," said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan. "Suppressing the availability of heroin, which is destroying an increasing number of lives, is a top priority."
"Thanks to the hard work of the investigators and prosecutors involved in this case, a massive drug operation trafficking millions of dollars' worth of narcotics throughout the East Coast has come to an end," NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said.
"These seizures and arrests demonstrate that NYC is ground zero of heroin distribution networks supplying the Northeast, as well as being the prime market Mexican drug traffickers are using to earn profit from the sale of poison," said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge James Hunt.
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