An alleged Mexican drug kingpin and five of his accomplices have just been indicted for smuggling enough fentanyl from Mexico into New York City “to kill millions,” officials announced Tuesday.
An undercover investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor Unit, and local law enforcement agencies discovered that San José del Cabo resident Francisco Quiroz-Zamora, 41, known as “Gordo,” or “Fatso,” was the primary source of large fentanyl shipments to the New York City region.
In the first half of 2017, an undercover narcotics officer posed as a drug trafficker and successfully negotiated two large shipments of Mexican fentanyl from Quiroz-Zamora.
Quiroz-Zamora was arrested on November 27 when he arrived via Amtrak to the city’s Pennsylvania Station “to personally collect payment for drug deals he unwittingly negotiated with an undercover officer,” said NBC News.
“This investigation provides the American public with an inside view of a day in the life of a Sinaloa Cartel drug trafficker; including international travel, money pick-ups, and clandestine meetings,” Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge James Hunt said in a statement.
“Quiroz-Zamora oversaw the delivery of multi-kilogram loads of fentanyl to New York, powerful enough to kill millions. The Strike Force and the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor acted quickly and efficiently to seize the toxic kilograms before hitting the streets and arresting all conspirators, including the Kingpin,” Hunt added.
Quiroz-Zamora’s drug trafficking operations stemmed from San José del Cabo, a resort town plagued with cartel violence on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.
NBC indicates Quiroz-Zamora was “charged with operating as a major trafficker, first-degree sale or a controlled substance and second-degree conspiracy.”
Further, Quiroz-Zamora’s accomplices (Carlos Ramirez, Jesus Perez-Cabral, Johnny Beltrez, David Rodriguez and Richard Rodriguez) were charged with “second-degree conspiracy, criminal possession of controlled substances in the first and third degrees, criminal facilitation in the second degree, and criminal possession of a firearm,’ said NBC.
Authorities told NBC that it was Quiroz-Zamora who “allegedly orchestrated two sales of fentanyl” to uncover agents in the first half of 2017.
This led to the arrest of Carlos Ramirez and the largest ever fentanyl seizure in New York City when DEA special agents seized 44 pounds of the potent synthetic opioid at the Umbrella Hotel in the Bronx.
Despite the operational setback of running a high-stakes drug trafficking business, Quiroz-Zamora negotiated another deal with undercover drug traffickers, which resulted in a tense police raid last August on a Manhattan condo — down the street from Trump Tower. The raid resulted in the arrest of Perez-Cabral, Beltrez, and Rodriguez.
“Agents conducted a search and recovered two large ziplock bags containing powder, 1,100 individual dose glassine envelopes stamped with the brand name ‘UBER,’ a loaded .25-caliber Beretta pistol and $12,000 in cash,” authorities said in a statement.
The arrests and indictments of the Mexican drug kingpin and five of his high-level colleagues was the result of a “long-term” investigation by a group of governmental agencies, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor Unit, and the New York City Police Department.
“Fentanyl has been ravaging my county of the Bronx, killing people and shattering communities,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said.
“Tracing the source to its foreign origins and indicting the kingpin will help stem the flow of this high-profit poison to our city. I am pleased to work with our local, state and federal partners to target these major suppliers,” he added.
“In New York City and across the nation, fentanyl is causing untold tragedy as it pushes the number of overdose deaths ever higher. This indictment demonstrates our collaborative approach and commitment to tracking those at the top of the lethal supply chain and putting them out of business permanently,” Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said.
Citywide, the drug was responsible for 44 percent of all overdose deaths. Across the river, New Jersey noticed a five-fold explosion in fentanyl overdose deaths in the last two years.
While authorities in New York City have thwarted a Fentanyl bomb from detonating across the boroughs, America’s opioid crisis is far from over as the drug overdose mayhem explodes across the homeland. Rome is burning.