DEA finds $12M in Queens heroin drug mill

DEA busts Queens drug trafficking mill, finds $12M in heroin (DEA)

Federal and local law enforcement officers took down a large-scale heroin-packaged mill in Queens and arrested an alleged "major trafficker" of drugs.

The Ridgewood location had 39 kilograms of suspected heroin, with an estimated street value of $12 million, 1,000 fentanyl pills, and $200,000 cash.

Luis Martinez is accused of overseeing the operation inside his Forest Avenue apartment.

Three women allegedly employed by him, Sofia Medina, Maria Altagracia Berroa, and Jacqueline Sosa de Espinal also face charges.

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Investigators were conducting surveillance when they say Martinez left the building carrying a backpack. Agents stopped him and say that the bag allegedly contained approximately $200,000.

Authorities say they found the women in the apartment and a bedroom set up for heroin packaging.

Agents and officers found 31 pressed, brick-shaped packages wrapped in duct tape, each allegedly containing a kilogram of heroin, and an additional six kilograms of loose powder inside plastic containers and zip-lock style bags.

DEA busts Queens drug trafficking mill, finds $12M in heroin (DEA)

Approximately 100,000 individual dose glassine envelopes filled with heroin, as well as empty envelopes and stamps were found on a table.

Glassine envelopes bore various brand names, including "Red Scorpion," "The Hulk," "Universal," "Hard Target," "Last Dragon, "Dope" and "Venom."

DEA busts Queens drug trafficking mill, finds $12M in heroin (DEA)

Digital scales, sifters, and grinders were also in the bedroom.

 Agents and officers also seized approximately 1,000 blue pills bearing markings similar to pharmaceutically produced oxycodone but suspected to be counterfeits containing fentanyl.

More than 26 mobile phones and mail addressed to Martinez were also recovered from the apartment.

"Monday evening, we dismantled a highly sophisticated heroin mill in the heart of Queens," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan.  "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 Northeast."

The DEA released photographs of the operation.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan described it as "an assembly line able to pump out millions of street-ready heroin packages and deadly counterfeit fentanyl pills."

DEA busts Queens drug trafficking mill, finds $12M in heroin (DEA)