NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More than two dozen people were indicted and 33 kilograms of heroin were seized in a record drug bust Friday, according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The months-long investigation, dubbed “Operation Dirty Dope,” cracked down on a cartel that has allegedly been running a smuggling ring spanning from Mexico to Arizona and into New York and Massachusetts.
The AG said the ring, which was traced to the Sinaloa cartel, is notorious for cutting its heroin with other chemicals like fentanyl and Novacaine, along with cheaper products like nail polish remover, roach killer and chicken anesthetic.
“The motivation is you can sell less heroin, which is expensive, by cutting it with much cheaper product if you don’t care about the effect on the heroin user. If you don’t care about the health consequences. If you don’t care if people die,” Schneiderman told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams.
He also said the cartel uses addicts for quality control, testing whether a particular concoction will make them sick or even kill them.
“This is a level of cynicism that even among drug dealers makes this gang stand out,” Schneiderman told 1010 WINS Juliet Papa.
In total, the drug bust led to 25 indictments. Thirteen of those indicted were from the Bronx.
Investigators seized 33 kilograms of heroin and 2 kilograms of fentanyl, valued at approximately $13 million.
Authorities said the cartel used secret compartments to hide the drugs inside vehicles.