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Special Prosecutor: Cops Seize More Than $1 Million Worth Drugs Not Far From 2 Bronx Schools

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There was an alarming drug bust in the Bronx earlier this week.

Police found more than $1 million worth of illegal narcotics, just steps away from not one, but two schools, CBS2's Dave Carlin reported Thursday.

Wadely Taveras, 35, was charged with drug possession and criminal use of drug paraphernalia after police said they stopped him on a University Heights sidewalk early Tuesday with what they say were three large bricks of fentanyl.

Police and agents went to 2322 Andrews Ave. North to search Taveras' fifth-floor apartment, where they said they found more fentanyl, for a total of 13 pounds, plus additional amounts of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

All of it was estimated to have the massive street value, Carlin reported.

Bronx drug bust
Wadely Taveras (Photo: NYPD)

The superintendent of the building, Alberto Herrera, confirmed Taveras shared Unit 51 with a brother, calling them quiet tenants.

"No entrada y salida," Herrera said.

He said because strangers rarely came in and out of the apartment nothing seemed suspicious.

Prosecutors called this a packaging operation, for a surprisingly wide variety of drugs.

"The actual drugs had already been manufactured and probably transported here from Mexico," New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said.

Brennan said she's glad the product was kept off the streets, especially the fentanyl.

"It's about 50 times as potent as heroin and actually last year in New York City it was responsible for about 60% of the overdose deaths," Brennan said.

The dangers extend beyond those who want it and knowingly take it.

Officers and agents can come into accidental contact with it during raids and so can vulnerable neighbors, including kids.

And on the block in question there are more children than typical because there is a private school on one side of the building and a daycare on the other, Carlin reported.

"Of course I'm worried and I'm surprised about it. Very surprised," parent Jacqueline Estades said.

It's another case that reminds neighbors you can't always know what's really going on next door.

Taveras was arraigned Wednesday night in Manhattan Criminal Court, where a judge set his bail at $200,000.

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