Seven people were arrested this week for allegedly selling a highly dangerous mix of heroin cut with fentanyl, in packages branded "Pray For Death." Investigators say the stuff lived up to its name, nearly killing a man in the Bronx in September.
NYPD officers teamed up with agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency and the office of NYC's Special Narcotics Prosecutor to embark on a six-month investigation into the gang, whose ringleader was allegedly Bronx resident Billy Perez, 39. The group allegedly hawked its wares on Marion Avenue at 194th Street in the Bronx, which was where Stanley Sacarillo, 35, is accused of selling a customer several glassines of the drug mix on September 3rd. The customer was caught on video snorting some of the mixture, then suffering an overdose; Sacarillo called 911, according to police, but has still been charged with reckless endangerment in connection with the sale.
Police say Sacarillo sold undercover narcotics officers over one dozen times during the investigation, and that he sold 300 glassines to one officer three days after the aforementioned overdose. The glassines reportedly contained only fentanyl, which is approximately 50 times stronger than heroin and is suspected to have contributed significantly to the recent spike in opioid overdoses.
“Heroin and fentanyl are killers. The defendants pushed their poison onto the streets of the Bronx, with high concentrations of fentanyl and a blatant disregard for human life,” NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said in a statement today.
Police say they conducted a raid on Perez's Cove Court home yesterday, finding $200,000 in cash in addition to 215 glassines of suspected heroin/fentanyl. The glassines were branded with the name "Pray for Death," paired with a stamp of a kneeling skeleton, police said. Cops also found another 100 glassines in the home of one Hector Figueroa, who was also named in the indictment.
Sacarillo and Perez also face weapons charges. Bronx residents Marlyn Cruz, Ellen Natter, Kathleen Dunn, and John Donohue were named in the indictment as well. Police say a seventh suspect has also been charged.