An alleged narcotics dealer has been arrested and charged with throwing fentanyl powder in NYPD officers' faces during a drug bust in the Bronx.
According to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, members of the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force had a search warrant for a suspected narcotics packaging location at 304 Willis Avenue on November 7th. When officers entered the apartment, they say they found six people in the living room along with a large quantity of suspected heroin and fentanyl packaged into nearly 20,000 individual dose glassine envelopes, which had been stamped with the "HBO" logo on them (see photo above).
One of the suspects, Christian Rojas, allegedly threw loose fentanyl at the head of one of the officers, striking him with powder and causing the dust to burst everywhere. They write: "The officer exhibited fentanyl-related symptoms, including nausea and shortness of breath and was treated by emergency responders. A second officer who was immediately behind this officer also experienced nausea and shortness of breath, and momentarily lost consciousness while being transported to a hospital via ambulance."
Altogether, four officers experienced fentanyl-related symptoms from being in the apartment. Seven people, including one person who was in a back bedroom, were arrested in the bust: Rojas, Nassar Lacewell, Francisco Payano, Mario Guerreo, Jose Gonzalez, Freddy Roja and Margaret Payano.
Rojas has been charged with five counts of assault, attempted aggravated assault upon a police officer and reckless endangerment. All seven defendants have been charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, and criminally using drug paraphernalia.