A Queens resident is confronting a slew of charges following the discovery of over $10 million worth of drugs and a significant cache of firearms in an abandoned residence in Bellerose, according to the police.
The astonishing find inside the property located at 249-27 88th Road has sent shockwaves through a typically tranquil neighborhood, as described by local residents. Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz revealed on Wednesday that 43-year-old Victor Rodriguez could potentially face lengthy incarceration after authorities uncovered a substantial collection of handguns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, as well as heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine with a street value ranging from $10 million to $11 million within the residence, which had remained vacant for five years.
Ajmer Singh, a nearby resident, expressed his astonishment, stating, “I have no words. I’m like speechless. I can’t believe it’s in my neighborhood.”
Katz disclosed that a contractor stumbled upon the drugs and firearms in May, shortly after the property changed ownership, leading to a report to the police. Subsequently, Rodriguez was captured on surveillance footage dashing to and from the residence while carrying coolers suspected of holding illicit substances.
Katz further emphasized the potential consequences, remarking, “We can’t even begin to calculate how many lives would’ve been cut short. How many lives would’ve been ruined had these lethal narcotics and weapons hit the streets.”
The residence is located just steps away from areas where children reside, a fact that deeply concerns parents in the vicinity. Laurin Talty, a neighbor residing a few doors down from where the illicit items were discovered, expressed her apprehensions, saying, “There are so many kids over here. These houses right here, there are so many. It’s totally dangerous and scary for the parents.”
Although it is believed that the residence was employed for drug packaging and manufacturing, Katz clarified that narcotics were not retailed on the premises. She suggested that the minimal foot traffic might have allowed Rodriguez to evade scrutiny for at least two years.
Singh, who has lived in the neighborhood for seven years, expressed his surprise, stating, “We had no idea about that. I’ve been living here for seven years. Everything was fine. Nobody bothered. But still, it’s a big surprise for the neighborhood.”
Katz revealed that Rodriguez’s DNA was detected on respirator masks utilized in the production and packaging of drugs. He was indicted on October 27, facing 112 charges. Presently, he potentially faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison and is scheduled to appear in court on November 6.