Alleged drug traffickers at a Bronx pizzeria are getting a slice of justice after an investigation found they were making extra dough by selling a variety of illegal substances.
More than 100 pounds of what is believed to be cocaine, fentanyl, heroin and other drugs worth a total of about $4 million was seized from the Mexzzarella Pizza shop in the Soundview neighborhood on Thursday, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), with three people now facing charges.
Gaudencio Rosendo Perez, Zulema Cardenas Espinoza, and Alexander Samboy were arrested following an investigation into what the DEA said was a sophisticated drug trafficking operation run across the street from a public elementary school, PS 69.
“This drug trafficking organization was cooking up more than pizza,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino.
All three were charged with operating as a major trafficker and possession of a controlled substance, then were arraigned before a judge on Friday. Perez was remanded, while bail was set at $150,000 for Espinoza and Samboy, both of whom were ordered to surrender their passports.
What was described as “a large stash of cocaine” was found in the pizzeria’s basement, with Tarentino saying that the drug cache “had the potential to supply drug networks throughout the Northeast.” Tarentino added that cocaine being laced with fentanyl has led to an increase in drug-related poisonings and deaths in New York and across the U.S.