Bronx Drug Kingpin Convicted of Running Heroin Organization
by Jim Kouri, CPP
Jose Rodriguez Nieves, a/k/a "Menor," a/k/a "Cuba," was found guilty late Friday of charges related to his leadership of a highly lucrative drug organization responsible for distributing hundreds of kilograms of heroin in the Bronx from 1995 to January 2006.
Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge John Gilbride told reporters, “Throughout this operation the DEA and our law enforcement partners identified an organization responsible for importing, packaging and distributing thousands of bags of heroin to be distributed in New York. All those responsible have been placed under arrest and last week the leader of the drug organization had been convicted by members of the same community he was poisoning with heroin.”
According to the evidence at trial: Rodriguez was the principal organizer, leader, and administrator of a drug organization that obtained hundreds of kilograms of heroin from Colombian suppliers in Queens, New York, and then prepared the heroin for distribution in the Bronx. During the ten-year period, Rodrriguez employed over a dozen people to work in heroin "mills" where bags of heroin were prepared, packaged, and delivered to heroin distribution "spots" in the Bronx.
In preparing the heroin, the suspect and his workers mixed the heroin with chemicals including animal tranquilizers to create a potent and addictive drug that became popular with drug addicts and other users in the Bronx. Rodriguez and other members of the drug organization used a number of vehicles with hidden compartments or "traps" to transport the kilograms of heroin within the New York City area.
Specifically, Rodriguez's heroin was sold in the vicinity of Bryant Avenue in Bronx, New York -- where his mother used to own a townhouse in which agents seized ammunition and evidence relating to his heroin organization -- and in the vicinity of Vyse Avenue, also in the Bronx.
In the ten years that his organization was in operation, it earned millions of dollars from heroin sales. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement agents and officers seized over $2.7 million in cash, 108 pieces of jewelry worth more than $160,000, and several expensive and antique vehicles.
Rodriguez was convicted of leading and organizing a continuing criminal enterprise ("CCE"), conspiring to distribute heroin, and possessing heroin with the intent to distribute it. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life imprisonment on the CCE count, and mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years and maximum sentences of life on the heroin conspiracy and distribution counts. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge PRESKA on May 7, 2008.
Other individuals who participated in Rodriguez's heroin organization were arrested and have subsequently pleaded guilty to heroin trafficking and/or firearms offenses.
Many law enforcement commanders have praised the investigative efforts of the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force -- which includes agents and officers of the DEA, New York City Police Department, and New York State Police -- for their assistance in the investigation, arrest and prosecution of Rodriguez and many members of his organization.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.