Authorities have dismantled the city’s first known meth conversion lab at a vacant Bronx apartment — in a scene reminiscent of the hit show “Breaking Bad,” officials said Wednesday.
On Feb. 3, Drug Enforcement Administration agents and cops raided the makeshift lab at 3204 Kingsbridge Ave. — directly across the street from an elementary school — and seized 22 pounds of meth, 45 grams of heroin and 2,000 narcotic pills, according to a release from the city’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor.
“This isn’t ‘Breaking Bad,’ but it is a bad sign that methamphetamine is trying to make a home in New York City,” said Ray Donovan, special agent in charge of the DEA New York Division, referencing the AMC series about a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher who starts producing meth.
Inside the unfurnished apartment, agents found a baking tray, a large metal pot on the stove with a sifter full of crystal meth and other drug paraphernalia. Conversion labs, designed to transform liquid meth into crystals, require dangerous chemicals that are highly flammable, officials said.
“It is rare and extremely dangerous to discover a methamphetamine conversion lab in a densely populated area like New York City,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan, whose office is handling the case. “Improperly handled chemicals emit toxic fumes, spark fires and can even explode.”
During the investigation, agents reviewed surveillance footage and identified three men — Inoel Acosta, Luis Reyes and Angel Zepeda — entering the unit, sometimes carrying gallon drums of acetone, according to a press release. All three men were arrested. Acosta and Reyes were charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, burglary and criminally using drug paraphernalia. Zepeda, who is the building’s super, faces one count of criminal facilitation.