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Officers hospitalized after exposure to ‘unknown chemical’ during drug raid in the Bronx

Posted: 10:41 PM, Nov 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-08 06:50:37-05

MOTT HAVEN, the Bronx — Several people, including police officers, were hospitalized after they were exposed to "an unknown chemical" during a drug raid in the Bronx.

Authorities conducted a narcotics raid at an apartment in the vicinity of Willis Avenue and East 140th Street.

When officers arrived to the scene, a table lined with drugs was flipped, according to police. Some of the drugs were in powder form, exposing officers to the dangerous substances when it went airborne, authorities said.

Four NYPD officers and an officer from an outside department were taken to the hospital to be treated and have since been released.

Seven people inside the apartment were also taken to the hospital as a precaution and have since been arrested.

Christian Rojas, 44; Freddy Rojas, 47; Jose Gonzalez, 49; Mario Guerrero, 40; Margaret Payano, 46; Francisco Payano, 35; and Nassar Lacewell, 36, face several charges, including criminal possession of a controlled substance, reckless endangerment, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, and resisting arrest.

CORRECTION: This story was originally published saying that the substance was fentanyl. Police have clarified that the nature of the substance is still unknown. 

This story has also been updated with the number of officers and civilians taken to the hospital.