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DEA Task Force Joins Investigation of New Rochelle Road Drug Mule Case; U.S. Attorney Will Prosecute Case Involving 18,000 Packets of Heroin

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DEA Task Force Joins Investigation of New Rochelle Road Drug Mule Case; U.S. Attorney Will Prosecute Case Involving 18,000 Packets of Heroin

February 24, 2011 - 22:11
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HeroinMuleCase Torres BaptisteAfter a wild chase liveblogged on Talk on the Sound involving police from New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Eastchester, and Bronxville police departments and the Westchester County Police as well as helicopters and K-9 units, Lance Baptiste, 32, of Waterbury, Conn., and Eddie Torres, 25, of Davidson Avenue, Bronx, were each charged today in US District Court in White Plains with Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Distribute.

The multi-agency Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force has joined the investigation and the two suspects will be prosecuted in Federal Court by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Federal agents and local police, including detectives from the County Police, serve on the DEA Task Force.

At 2:16 p.m. on Wednesday, Westchester County Police Officer Steven Stromberg stopped a car for a traffic violation on the westbound Cross County Parkway near New Rochelle Road in Eastchester. Stromberg determined that Baptiste, the driver, had a warrant for his arrest on a misdemeanor drug
charge and placed him under arrest.

Torres, the passenger, then jumped from the car and fled on foot through a residential neighborhood on the Mount Vernon-Eastchester border. Westchester County police, including the Aviation Unit helicopter and tracking dogs from the Canine Unit, commenced a search for him, assisted by officers from the Mount Vernon, Eastchester, New Rochelle and Bronxville police departments.

A county police officer was able to track Torres to a yard on Hilltop Road in Eastchester, where Torres was found hiding in a basement window well and took him into custody. Torres was additionally charged with Obstruction of Governmental Administration 2nd Degree, a misdemeanor, for fleeing from police.

A subsequent search of the vehicle uncovered 18,000 packets of heroin with a street value of $180,000. More than $17,000 in cash was also recovered. The drugs and money were hidden in a laundry bag in the trunk of the car.

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