Federal agents: About $7 million in drugs seized in Kingsbridge raid; 6 arrested

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Six men accused of running a $7 million drug distribution center out of a Bronx heroin mill were arrested Monday and released Wednesday under the state's new bail reform law.

Investigators say the suspects, Livo Valdez, Jaslin Baldera, Frederick Baldera, Frandi Ledema, Diego Tejada and Parfraimy Antonio, were operating the heroin and fentanyl mill out of an apartment on Sedgwick Avenue in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx.

On Monday, federal agents raided the apartment and caught the suspects in the middle of packing powdered filled envelopes. In total, 750,000 glassine envelopes with suspected heroin and fentanyl were discovered. Police say the suspects were bundling powder-filled glassine envelopes with the word "fire" branded across it. Investigators say there were hundreds of thousands of envelopes in the home.

All six suspects arrested were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Despite the scope of the crimes the men are accused of, none of the charges they are facing make it able for the court to set bail. Sources say they were not able to secure a higher charge that would have allowed bail.

Under the new law, at least 250 felonies will require mandatory release, giving the judge no opportunity to set bail.

News 12 was able to get in touch with the Legal Aid Society, who is representing Valdez. They say he is on supervised released and has no criminal record. They say lawmakers were right to enact bail reform, saying it has kept New Yorkers from pre-trial detention, allowing them to get back to their communities.

At the time of the drug bust, the special narcotics prosecutor released a statement saying, "The sheer volume of heroin and fentanyl packages assembled in a small apartment just off the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx is shocking. Even veteran narcotics investigators were surprised by the output of this packaging operation, which was run out of a nondescript apartment in the borough afflicted by the city's highest rate of overdose death."

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