As revealed by the Drug Enforcement Administration in a statement, around 86 pounds of suspected heroin and 1,000 suspected fentanyl pills were obtained. Luis Martinez is the man accused of overseeing a “narcotics packaging mill” from his apartment, and faces charges of operating as a major trafficker, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees, and criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree.
In addition to Martinez, who was arraigned on Tuesday evening, three women allegedly employed by him are charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminally using drug paraphernalia. The four individuals were arrested on Monday after Martinez left the apartment with $200,000 in cash inside his backpack.
“Monday evening, we dismantled a highly sophisticated heroin mill in the heart of queens,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan in a statement. “This drug den contained nearly $12 million dollars’ worth of narcotics and was like an opioid landmine capable of dispersing hundreds of thousands of heroin doses throughout Northeast. I applaud our law enforcement partners on their quick and thorough investigation.”
Authorities and officials involved in the bust say operations like this could save countless lives amid the opioid crisis. “The shuttering of an assembly line able to pump out millions of street-ready heroin packages and deadly counterfeit fentanyl pills will save lives across New York City and our entire region," said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan. "The volume of lethal drugs flooding our city is causing a record number of overdose deaths. This investigation succeeded because of the expertise and cooperation of our federal and local partners."