Three busted in raid of Woodside heroin, fentanyl mill: Prosecutor

Woodside drug bust
The apartments where members of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force smashed a large-scale heroin and fentanyl mill. (Screenshot via Google Maps)

Members of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force smashed a large-scale heroin and fentanyl mill in Woodside Tuesday night.

Three people were busted as two apartments were raided at 51-66 48th St., a small residential enclave between Calvary Cemetery, the Long Island Expressway and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

The NYDETF recovered more than five kilograms of narcotics from the Woodside building, worth an estimated street value of more than $1.5 million, after a court-authorized search of the basement and second-floor apartments, according to New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan

As agents and officers entered the premises, Argeliz Nunez, Pablo Rodriguez and Tiesha Cruz, all Queens residents, were seen leaving through the front door of the basement apartment. They were searched and agents recovered a loaded .22-caliber firearm from Rodriguez’s pants pocket.

Inside the basement apartment, a small room off the main living area contained a table with a large quantity of loose narcotics in powder form on top, along with gallon-sized ziplock bags of additional quantities of narcotics in powder form. Also present was a cardboard box filled with thousands of individual dose glassine envelopes filled with suspected heroin/fentanyl. Two brick-shaped boxes containing suspected narcotics sat on a table and the floor. Mail addressed to Rodriguez was found in the basement apartment.

A search of the second-floor apartment uncovered a table inside a bedroom with five ziplock bags of narcotics in loose powder form and drug residue on the tabletop. The apartment contained glassine envelopes stamped with many different brand names, such as “Black Widow,” “Asylum” and “Gucci.” Mail addressed to Nunez was present in the second-floor apartment.

Agents seized four vehicles allegedly associated with members of the Woodside drug trafficking organization. A 9mm handgun was recovered from a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van.

Rodriguez and Cruz were arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on Wednesday night. Arraignment for Nunez is pending, according to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor.