THE BRONX (PIX11) — The Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s office announced two people were arrested in connection to the seizure of around 300,000 colored fentanyl pills and about 20 pounds of fentanyl powder. The arrest comes a week after the “largest ‘rainbow fentanyl’ seizure in New York City,” surpassing last week’s arrest of 15,000 rainbow pills.
Erickson Lorenzo, 30, and Jefry Rodriguez-Pichardo, 32, of the Bronx, were arrested around 6 a.m. on Oct. 7. Police said they seized fentanyl from the apartment where the two were arrested in several different forms and packaging.
Fentanyl powder was found in the kitchen, living room and Lorenzo’s bedroom. It was wrapped in clear plastic. According to officials, the 300,000 multicolored fentanyl pills were hidden in two hallway closets and Lorenzo’s room. The majority of the pills were color-coded and kept in large zip-lock bags. Some of the pills were pressed to look like authentic oxycodone and Xanax. One large black garbage bag could hold up to 100,000 pills of various colors and shapes.
“This investigation uncovered a trove of dangerous ‘rainbow fentanyl’ pills worth up to $6 million on the street, plus an estimated $3 million in powdered fentanyl,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan. “Fentanyl pills are masquerading in many different forms, and our city is flooded with them. Any street drug, whether it looks like a legitimate pharmaceutical or like candy, may be fentanyl, and it may be lethal.”
Officials said they also found a loaded Tec-9 semi-automatic gun with a box of ammo and an extended magazine. Police also found 11 GPS devices, three scales and a hydraulic door opener.
“There is no question this seizure of poisonous fentanyl saved lives,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino. “Hundreds of thousands of lethal pills were lying in wait in a Bronx apartment to be unleashed onto our streets. In today’s world, the potential to overdose is dangerously high. There is no quality control in these fake pills, and it only takes two milligrams of fentanyl to be lethal…These drug traffickers are brazen, but they will be held accountable. I commend the members of our DEA Long Island District Office and the NYC Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for their hard work on this investigation.”
Lorenzo and Rodriguez-Pichardo have both been arrested on charges of a single count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degree, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and one count of criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree.
The seized drugs are being analyzed in a DEA lab. Fentanyl was detected in preliminary testing.