RIVERDALE, the Bronx — Two Bronx men were hit with a slew of charges over the weekend after local and federal authorities discovered over 25 lbs. of alleged heroin, several guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in a Bronx apartment last Thursday, officials announced Monday.
The major drug and weapons bust at the pair’s apparent stash house in Riverdale went down around 8 p.m. after a months-long investigation, according to the Office of New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan.
“Gun violence and deadly drugs are claiming far too many lives in our city,” Brennan said in a statement. “Taking guns and dangerous drugs off the street are top priorities and I commend the excellent investigative work and quick response of our office and law enforcement partners.”
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Tactical Diversion Squad (TDS-NY) conducted a court-authorized search of apartment at a six-story Mosholu Avenue complex just hours after the two suspects were arrested nearby, officials said.
Around 3 p.m., TDS-NY agents conducting surveillance of the property saw Harris Wilson Sanchez, who was carrying a bag, get into a Volkswagen SUV, in which Hinguenbert Deleon was already inside, authorities said.
According to officials, the agents recognized the duo from more than a month of prior surveillance, during which both were seen going in and out of the building.
When the two men drove off, TDS-NY members followed and attempted to pull their SUV over, at which time the vehicle sped off, the prosecutor’s office said.
While the pair initially eluded arrest, they returned to the area of the apartment around 6 p.m., at which time they were arrested by TDS-NY members, officials said.
Wilson Sanchez, who had been wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service since 2013, was carrying a set of keys that fit the lock of the suspected stash apartment, according to authorities.
Less than two hours later, the team got a court-authorized search warrant for the residence.
During their search, agents and officers recovered 12 brick-shaped packages and one cylindrical package from a storage container in a bedroom closet, the prosecutor’s office said. A field test indicated the powdery substance inside the packages to be heroin, according to authorities.
The results of a DEA laboratory analysis on the narcotics was still pending Monday.
The DEA estimated the street value of the alleged heroin to be approximately $4 million.
Also found in the closet was a metal case that contained three pistols, one of which was loaded, as well as over 200 cartridges of ammunition, a money counter, officials said. A kilo press used in the packaging of narcotics, as well as a small quantity of alleged cocaine were also found in the apartment, they said.
“Illegal drugs continue to threaten lives at record pace,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan said. “As guns are continually recovered in our investigations, it is evidently clear that gun violence and drug trafficking are two public safety threats that go hand in hand.”
Wilson Sanchez and Deleon were both charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first, third and seventh degrees, as well as criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degrees, and also criminal possession of a firearm, the prosecutor’s office said.
“The crime and violence associated with narcotics is relentlessly investigated by the NYPD and its law enforcement partners, to prevent New Yorkers from becoming victims,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. “I commend our investigators and the prosecutors in the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for New York City for their work in this case and for tirelessly fighting this scourge with every tool at our disposal.”