Feds crackdown on lucrative Colombian heroin ring with Bronx ties

? Federal and local officials have broken up a multi-million dollar international drug ring with Bronx ties, leading to several arrests.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Michael J. Garcia says operation ?Double Identity? started two years ago with a tip to a federal heroin hotline. Agents recently seized about $25 million worth of heroin and $3 million worth of high-end items from drug dealers in Colombia, the Bronx and other areas. Garcia says the leaders of the drug ring would smuggle heroin into the United States hidden in furniture, shoe soles and mules ? people who swallow sealed bags of drugs. Authorities say while they believe shutting down the operation will put a big dent in the flow of drugs into the Bronx, they feel the war on drugs is not over.

Jose Rodriguez Nieves allegedly ran a Bronx retail business as a front for the drug operation. If convicted, he and his associates would face a maximum of life in prison and a minimum of 10 years. Rodriguez Nieves also faces firearm charges.

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