MIDTOWN — A Colorado man arrested for trying to smuggle 40 pounds of the deadly opioid fentanyl into The Bronx is a victim of the "special narcotics Nazis," his lawyer said.
Carlos Ramirez, 25, of Lakewood, Colorado, was caught carrying packages of the increasingly popular drug to his car in what police said was the largest seizure of the drug in city history, according to Bridget Brennan, Special Narcotics Prosecutor.
DEA agents spotted Ramirez outside of the Umbrella Hotel at 681 Elton Ave. on the night of June 19 loading cylindrical packages into the trunk of his car, prosecutors said.
He admitted to coming from the nearby hotel, where law enforcement noticed a black duffel bag on top of a vending machine filed with the drug, according to Brennan.
Ramirez’s bail was set to $200,000, outraging his lawyer.
“It’s just another example of how the special narcotics Nazis throw their weight around in courtrooms in Manhattan seeking gratuitous bail increases,” said attorney Howard Greenberg. “The next time I have a defendant who is out on bail slated for Supreme Court arraignment for a narcotic charge in Manhattan, I hope I have the stones to tell him to, ‘head to the hills and never come back.’”
Fentanyl has caused a noticeable increase in drug fatalities in New York City, with almost 1,400 deaths reported last year — a 46 percent increase from 2015, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
"The potential for widespread loss of life was averted only through the investigative skill and fortunate timing of law enforcement officers," Brennan said of the case. "They seized 40 pounds of deadly fentanyl, casually tossed on top of a vending machine in a Bronx hotel hallway, the largest single recovery of fentanyl by the DEA in New York."