After a year of investigation, New York officials have arrested 25 individuals belonging to a “family-run” heroin operation.
The investigation moved into its final stages today after authorities incriminated the bulk of the drug ring led by 24-year old Josie Tavera, according to the New York Times.
After being tipped off last year about the ring, New York City police initiated a full-blown sting operation with wire taps, stakeouts and video surveillance.
While the majority of the action took place at the Williamsburg apartment off of Driggs Avenue, the Taveras had establishments in Prospect Heights, Astoria, Ridgewood, Queens and Staten Island.
The Tavera ring reportedly hid the heroin in cereal boxes and pushed it under names like “Knockout,” “Killing Time,” “Gucci” and “Scorpion,” which was specifically documented in the court case when the defendants were depicted laughing on video surveillance about how potent the “bite” was. Officials have arrested Tavera’s sister, Sheila Taveras, 26, for packaging, delivering and distributing the drug. They arrested his brother, Jose Taveras, 26, and his two cousins, Gustavo Tavares, 27, and Christian Rodriguez, 24, for supplying, and they also arrested his mother, Haydee Cordero, for laundering drug money into her bank account.
Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth P Thompson said in a news conference:
“There is a growing heroin epidemic in New York and other parts of the country that’s literally killing many of our young people.
“Heroin is cheap, and it’s highly addictive. It’s a silent but deadly drug plague.”
Although each of the 25 accused are being tried with 368-counts, police have estimated that the circle brought in approximately $1.5 million.