NEW YORK — Heroin traffickers mixed chemicals like nail polish remover, chicken anesthetic and roach killer in with their drugs and callously tested out the product on addicts as part of a massive smuggling ring stretching from Mexico to New York City and beyond, according to the New York Attorney General's office.
A total of 25 people have been indicted for their part in a heroin smuggling ring in what officials are touting as the largest bust in the history of the New York State Organized Crime Task Force.
More than 33 kilos of heroin and two kilos of Fentanyl were seized in what was dubbed "Operation Dirty Dope," and the drugs had a street value of more than $13 million, according to the Attorney General's office.
Two semi-automatic handguns, 300 grams of cocaine and eight vehicles, four of which had concealed compartments designed for smuggling drugs, were seized in the operation as well, officials said.
Members of the distribution ring are accused of moving drugs from Mexico to Tucson, Arizona to The Bronx, Washington Heights and Pennsylvania to Suffolk County and Massachusetts, according to the Attorney General's office.
Wiretaps used in the investigation recorded the defendants discussing plans to mix toxic chemicals including roach killer, nail polish remover and chicken anesthetic in with the heroin to add to its bulk and value, and traffickers tested the quality of their heroin on people addicted to the drug without regarding whether or not it would kill them, according to law enforcement officials.
Eight people were charged as major traffickers and face up to life in prison, while 17 others were charged in the case as well and face between 8 and 1/3 to 25 years if convicted.
“Operation Dirty Dope is another step in our multi-faceted effort to curb the heroin crisis that is destroying our communities,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “Our message to dealers and traffickers is simple: we will not tolerate anyone smuggling death into our state."