New York officials have arrested two men suspected of supplying massive amounts of heroin and other drugs throughout the Northeast, including in Connecticut.
Guillermo Esteban Margarin, 33, and Edualin Tapia, 28, both of the Bronx, New York, were taken into custody over the weekend in Hartford, according to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York.
The men, who are suspected of being members of a multi-million dollar drug distribution, were arrested after a six-month investigation and authorities seized 53 pounds of heroin; more than 20 pounds of cocaine; three guns, including two assault rifles; and $85,000 cash.
“These arrests cut a pipeline moving huge amounts of heroin from New York City to the Northeast. Through cases like this one, we strive to cut off the supply of heroin at its source. Suppressing the availability of heroin, which is destroying an increasing number of lives, is a top priority,” Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said in a statement.
On Thursday, a team from the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force Group conducted surveillance in the Bronx and saw Tapia and Margarin enter a suspected “heroin mill” carrying suitcases and a white box, according to the special prosecutor’s officer.
On Friday, authorities somehow learned that a Jeep Cherokee linked to the drug trafficking organization was traveling north on Interstate 95 toward Connecticut with an Acura RDX and they followed the vehicles to Hartford.
That afternoon., Tapia and Margarin arrived in the back lot of 24 Bulkeley Avenue, and walk toward the building carrying a box containing 22 pounds of heroin in bricks, so police walked by, according to a news release from police. Inside, investigators saw people at the sink, with the water running, ready to dump something down drain.
Inside, investigators found nearly 29 more pounds of heroin in an open closet in the back of the apartment. They also seized $75,000 that was in the back of an Infiniti.
Police said they believe the heroin was intended for distribution in Connecticut and places north, where the drug sells for at least double its street value in New York City, officials said.
Police issued warrants in New York, where they said they found nearly 7 pounds of cocaine and a small amount of heroin, in addition to drugs and cash.
When authorities searched a suspected stash location in the Bronx, they found more drugs, officials said.
The Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office has charged Tapia and Margarin with one count each of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree and conspiracy.
They are in custody in Hartford, pending extradition proceedings.