Manhattan 'drug dealer' busted with 1,000 pain pills inside dog toy – New York Post
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He screwed the pooch.
A Manhattan man was busted for selling guns and hundreds of fentanyl-laced pain pills from luxury high rises — after he dropped a stuffed dog toy containing drugs on a sidewalk which law enforcement found, authorities said Friday.
Aaron Sanchez, 31, had been the target of a months-long DEA investigation Wednesday when the yellow toy slipped from his hands as he left his upscale apartment in Hells Kitchen, according to the DEA.
An officer picked up the toy and found 1,000 blue fentanyl pills imprinted to look like oxycodone hidden inside, the agency said in a press release.
Sanchez — who allegedly dealt drugs from the building on West 54th Street near 11th Avenue — had previously sold at least 1,400 of the counterfeit pills and two guns to undercover officers between August 2021 and last week, according to the DEA.
“Concealing fentanyl pills in a dog toy was just one way Sanchez would deliver deadly doses to customers,” said Tim Foley, the DEA’s Acting Special Agent in Charge. “The rising threat of drug overdoses and violence is being fueled by profiteers like Sanchez.”
On Aug. 5, 2021, Sanchez first met the undercover officer behind a tony apartment building at West 42nd Street and Eleventh Avenue, where he previously lived, and allegedly sold 750 pills and a piece of crystal methamphetamine for $6,000, according to the DEA.
Six days later, he allegedly gave the undercover officer 250 more pills that were missing from the first sale, the agency said.
More than a year later, on Oct. 28, 2022, Sanchez brought the officer inside his luxury penthouse in the same building — 635 West 42nd Street — and allegedly hawked 400 fentanyl pills along with a Taurus 9mm firearm and two magazines for $3,600, the DEA said.
Sanchez allegedly then sold the officer a Sig Sauer firearm with 54 cartridges for $1,200 on March 3, the agency said.
On Wednesday night, the officer had arranged to buy 1,000 more pills when a team of DEA officials stopped him in front of his apartment at 550 West 54th Street, prompting him to drop the pill-stuffed dog toy near a car.
Officers searched his apartment and allegedly found 10 more fentanyl pills, a scale, money counter and rounds of ammunition, according to the DEA.
New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewel said the arrest was part of a bigger crackdown on the opioid epidemic.
“Abuse of opioids and the deadly additive fentanyl has cut a wide swath across our nation, affecting people from all walks of life, in every community,” she said in the press release. “To combat this scourge, the NYPD and its partners on the DEA’s Drug Enforcement Task Force are relentless in our efforts to shut down illegal drug supplies, to identify and arrest dealers and, ultimately, to save New Yorkers’ lives.”
Sanchez was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance , criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal sale of a firearm, and criminally using drug paraphernalia.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said the arrest is part of a bigger push to get guns and drugs off the streets of New York.
“Sanchez is charged with selling guns and dealing counterfeit fentanyl pills from the comfort of his luxury apartments in Manhattan, as gun violence and drug overdose continue to surge in the city,” Brennan said.