News Release
July 6, 2009
Erin Mulvey
Public Information Officer
212 337-2906

$30 Million Worth of Heroin Seized in the Bronx
Traffickers Concealed Heroin Bags in "Build-A-Bear" Toys: 12 Arrested

JUL 06 -- New York Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent-In-Charge John P. Gilbride, Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and New York State Police Superintendent Harry Corbitt announced the seizure of 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of heroin worth $30 million and the arrest of 12 defendants late Friday afternoon. Investigators discovered wholesale heroin packaging operations at several locations in the Bronx. The operations are estimated to have been selling at least 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of pre-packaged heroin in square-inch size glassine bags. Weekly, they sold hundreds of thousands of glassines stamped with dozens of brand names including Barack Obama, Swine Flu, and Crime 360. The organization stuffed heroin-filled glassines inside build-a-bear toys to conceal the heroin for transportation.

packaged bags of heroin
build-a-bear toy used to conceal heroin
Heroin before packaging
Stuffing Build-A-Bear with Heroin

DEA Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride stated, “Heroin use in the Tri-State area is on the rise, resulting in the overdose deaths of teenagers and young adults. To transport heroin, which is poison to our children, in teddy bears is an indication of how those arrested devalue the life of our children. With the seizure of approximately 30 pounds of heroin valued at $30 million dollars this investigation has saved the lives of teenagers and young adults in the New York area by shutting down a poisonous death mill.” SAC Gilbride praised the investigative work of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Office of the New York State Special Narcotics Prosecutor.

In the afternoon of July 3, 2009 a team from the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force—comprised of DEA Special Agents, New York Police Department detectives and New York State Troopers--- and Investigators from the Special Narcotics Prosecutors Office’s, seized approximately $150,000 in United States currency, 15 kilos of heroin and arrested 12 defendants.

The investigation was conducted with the Passaic County, N.J. Prosecutor's Office. Defendant Yeffrey ALBA was identified as the leader of a group that was processing and supplying to distribution organizations in New Jersey and New York City.

On July 2, 2009 Special Narcotics search warrants were executed in apartment D4, 4254 Carpenter Avenue, Bronx, NY a packaging heroin operation for retail sale where the 15 kilograms of heroin were seized. Search operations were also conducted 735 Pelham Pkwy N., Apt. 6K, (Alba’s residence) Bronx, NY, 1540 Pelham Parkway S., Apt 6K, Bronx, NY, and 6535 Broadway Apt 1G, Bronx, NY.

build-a-bear toy used to conceal heroin
containers of heroin
Finished Build-A-Bear with Heroin
Heroin mill

Approximately $150,000 USC, numerous relevant documents and five .38 Special rounds were seized at 735 Pelham Parkway N., Apt. 6K, Bronx, NY where Yeffrey Alba was arrested. Approximately 250 grams of heroin packaged in glassines, 40 grinders and various other narcotics paraphernalia was seized from 1540 Pelham Parkway S., Apt. 6K, Bronx, NY. Investigators also recovered three “build a bear” stuffed animals altered to store heroin. One .38 Caliber S&W revolver and relevant documents were seized from 6535 Broadway, Apt. 1G, Bronx, NY. Located in the residence was a dresser containing an empty hidden compartment.

Those arrested are:

Yeffrey Alba 11/07/1980 - 735 Pelham Parkway N., Apt. 6K, Bronx, NY
Luis Taveras 07-01-1974 - 1040 Nelson Ave. Apt#5F Bronx,
Socrates Lopez 11-04-1970 - 6200 Riverdale Ave. Bronx, NY
Pablo Alvarado 07/03/1974 - 55 Overlook Terr. Bronx, NY.
Hector Nolasco 05/20/1979 -1016 Bryant Ave Apt#4C Bronx,
Nobel Burgos - 02/26/1982 - 2671 Heath Ave Apt#6H Bronx, NY
Guillermo Lopez 04/26/1982 -1500 Thierot Ave Apt#B2 Bronx, NY
Jose Delorbe 07/20/1977 - 3530 Bainbridge Ave Apt#7D Bronx,NY
Orestes Cuevas 02/25/1982 - 2526 Bronx Park East Apt#2G Bronx, NY
Isidro R. Paredes - 12/15/1978 - 2800 Wickman Ave. Bronx, NY
Isidro J. Paredes 11/03/1976 -1725 Andrews Ave. Bronx, NY
Josuel Nolasco 01/10/1983 - 145 Seaman Ave. NY, NY

The defendants are charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, Conspiracy in the Second Degree, and Criminal Use

of Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree. They are scheduled to be arraigned 100 Centre Street, Room 129 sometime Saturday.

Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.