Authorities indict alleged drug kingpin who led operation in the Bronx

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Authorities have taken an alleged drug kingpin from Yonkers and around 70 pounds of heroin and fentanyl off the streets.

The nearly three-year investigation led to five arrests, including a Yonkers man who authorities say led a large-scale drug operation in the Bronx - while living in a luxury apartment building in Westchester County.

Authorities say 39-year-old Juan Silva Santos lived at Ridge Hill in Yonkers, but used multiple apartments for his extensive drug ring.  When he was arrested back in October, authorities seized roughly 70 pounds of heroin and fentanyl.  On Thursday, he was indicted and charged under the New York state kingpin’s statute as a major trafficker.

"When you think about 32 kilograms, 70 pounds of heroin and fentanyl, what does that mean, means 28 million dosing units were taken off the streets,” says DEA special agent in charge Ray Donovan. 

The multi-agency investigation led authorities to a Bronx apartment building where Santos and his crew allegedly packed trash bags with drug paraphernalia. They were spotted by agents taking cabs to the airport. Authorities found the drugs in suitcases at the Ridge Hill location.

They want to be covert, they don't want to be seen, don't want competition or people watching them, so they'll go to a nice area, community close to the highway, easy to get on the Thruway to get off,” says Donovan. 

Authorities tell News 12 that the operation had strong international ties to the Sinaloa Cartel, the most dangerous organized criminal group affecting a vast majority of the U.S. with the furthest reach. It's the same group El Chapo Guzman is believed to be a part of.

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