DA: 32 indicted in international drug ring

The Bronx district attorney announced Thursday the seizure of more than 103 pounds of heroin and fentanyl and indictments against 32 people accused of roles in an international drug trafficking ring.

Authorities say the drugs are worth about $22 million, and the indictment is more than 50 pages long.

Investigators say the bust grew out of a monthslong investigation into crack sales on McClellan Street and Grant Avenue. Investigators closed in on two suspected dealers there: Steven and Daniel Rivera.

The Riveras allegedly supplied crack to street-level dealers, but they were part of a much larger trafficking network, prosecutors say.

Authorities accuse Viannet Espinal and Joel Velazquez, both Bronx residents, and Jason Alvarez, from Fort Lee, New Jersey, of running the larger operation.

Alvarez allegedly arranged for the drugs to come in on trucks from Honduras, through Mexico, to California and finally into New York. Three other suspects allegedly bought the imported drugs in the Bronx and distributed them in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

Some of the suspects face up to life imprisonment if convicted. The Bronx District Attorney's Office also says it will sue the defendants for $10.5 million in alleged proceeds.

Heroin and fentanyl are among the deadliest illegal drugs available in the United States. A single dose can be fatal, according to the DEA, and mixtures can be potent enough to kill an elephant.

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