‘Heroin pipeline’ takedown nets 9 arrests
Nine people were arrested Wednesday in connection to an alleged multimillion-dollar heroin pipeline that stretched from Mexico to Long Island.
The investigation into the alleged drug ring began last year after undercover officers say they bought a pound of heroin from 38-year-old Ajay Carter and 42-year-old Miguel Tormo on four separate occasions in Manhasset and Great Neck.
Investigators say drug mules were swallowing the drugs and flying from Mexico to New York. They also say a large amount was black-tar heroin being driven from Mexico to New York in a Dodge Durango. The seemingly family-friendly car was complete with a red canoe on top and bikes on the back. Investigators say the heroin was carefully hidden in a vacuum-sealed bag and stuffed inside the engine of the car.
Nassau Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau Chief Rick Whelan says the heroin was then removed at United Body Works auto-body shop in Astoria, Queens. Cash would then be stuffed back into the engine and the dealers would return to Mexico.
Investigators say Carter was also using ads on Craigslist to sell cocaine, steroids, and club drugs like MDMA.
Investigators say the group was on track to sell 5 to 10 kilos a month. They believe they were making between $3 million to $6 million or $6 million to $12 million each month.
The suspects arrested are from Mexico, California, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
Carter and Tormo are being held on $2.5 million bail.