Updated: 08/01/2014 5:29 PM
Created: 08/01/2014 12:03 PM WNYT.com
By: Bill Lambdin
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple released details of an organized heroin ring that used local malls and made deliveries by taxi.
The sheriff says the heroin bust is the largest in his department's history. However, it's more the methods of distribution that make this case unusual.
Heroin still has the reputation as an inner city, street corner drug -- little baggies bought on the corner, contents heated in a spoon and injected in some dive, often with disastrous consequences.
Apple says this ring was hanging around where teens -- area shopping malls -- and ordering up supplies delivered by taxi.
“They solicited area drivers who were also heroin addicts to work for the organization. They'd pay the rental fees of $65 a day to use the cabs and to use the taxi and then they would also pay the drivers in cash and heroin,” explained Apple. “The organization had upwards of three to four cabs working for them on any shift, basically around the clock.”
Police were still seeking members of the 20 person distribution ring. A flow chart is topped by Irving Prado, 39.
Apple says they seized enough heroin for 16,000 bags with a street value about $160,000.
“I stand here firmly believing that we heavily dented the heroin drug trafficking in the Capital Region,” Apple declared.
One tip that things weren't on the up and up would have been the cabs were rented and money was paid for their use, but no passengers were being carried, only the drugs, according to the charges.
Owners of the cab companies and management at the local shopping malls have not been charged.
Apparently they were not aware of the illegal activity taking part on their property.