BELLEROSE, Queens (PIX11) — A Queens man is facing a number of charges after more than $10 million worth of drugs and a stockpile of guns were found in an abandoned home in Bellerose, police said.
The startling discovery inside the home at 249-27 88th Road sent shockwaves through what neighbors say is normally a quiet neighborhood. Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Wednesday that 43-year-old Victor Rodriguez could spend decades in jail after a slew of handguns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine with a street value between $10 million and $11 million were all found inside the home that’s been vacant for five years.
“I have no words,” said Ajmer Singh, who lives nearby. “I’m like speechless. I can’t believe it’s in my neighborhood.”
Katz said a contractor stumbled upon the drugs and guns back in May after the property was sold, causing him to notify police. Rodriguez was later seen on surveillance camera running to and from the home with coolers in his hand believed to be storing drugs.
“We can’t even begin to calculate how many lives would’ve been cut short,” Katz said. “How many lives would’ve been ruined had these lethal narcotics and weapons hit the streets.”
The home is just steps away from where children live, causing concern for parents. Laurin Talty lives a few doors down from where the drugs and weapons were found.
“There are so many kids over here,” said Talty. “These houses right here, there are so many. It’s totally dangerous and scary for the parents.”
It’s believed that the home was used to package and manufacture drugs, but Katz said narcotics were not actually sold there. The district attorney said the lack of foot traffic may have caused Rodriguez to fly under the radar for at least two years.
“We had no idea about that,” Singh said. “I’ve been living here for seven years. Everything was fine. Nobody bothered. But still, it’s a big surprise for the neighborhood.”
Rodriguez’s DNA was found on respirator masks used in the production and packaging of drugs, according to Katz. He was indicted on Oct. 27 on 112 charges. He’s now facing 25 years to life in prison and is due back in court on Nov. 6.