In a remarkable turn of events, a Queens home, abandoned and seemingly inconspicuous became the epicenter of a major criminal investigation. A contractor, hired to sell the property located on 88th Road, unwittingly stumbled upon a vast cache of drugs and firearms.
His discovery, in May, involved taking photographs and alerting the police, leading to a thorough search of the premises.
The focal point of this investigation is 43-year-old Victor Rodriguez, a Hispanic man who now faces a staggering 112 counts. His charges include operating as a major drug trafficker, multiple counts of criminal possession of controlled substances and weapons, and the manufacture and transport of dangerous instruments. Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced these charges following Rodriguez’s indictment on October 27.
The Extent of Illegal Holdings
Authorities uncovered a substantial quantity of heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and nearly 1.5 million glass envelopes, some containing a mix of heroin and fentanyl. The drugs’ street value is estimated between $10 million and $11 million. Additionally, the arsenal included various firearms and hundreds of cartridges, further exacerbating the severity of the charges.
Post the contractor’s discovery, surveillance footage revealed Rodriguez’s alleged involvement, seen transporting coolers suspected to contain narcotics. A subsequent warrant led to the seizure of additional drugs, including crystal meth, and more firearms. The authorities also recovered equipment typically used in drug trafficking, like kilogram presses and respiratory masks.
The weapons cache was extensive, featuring various semi-automatic pistols, revolvers, and ghost gun kits. Ammunition of different calibers, high-capacity feeding devices, and tools used for manufacturing firearms were also part of the seizure.
District Attorney Katz highlighted the potential danger averted by this bust, underscoring the safety brought to local communities. NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban echoed this sentiment, reaffirming the commitment to combat drug trafficking and its associated risks in New York City.
Please note that an indictment is merely an accusation and not evidence of guilt. Under the law, an individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.