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Operation SmackDown - Main Suppliers Arrested

Operation SmackDown

Main Suppliers Arrested

 

photo of Nelfi Castro-Gonzalez, Roberto Mendez-Rodriguez and Robert Melendez-Jimenez 
 
DEFENDANTS:  Nelfi Castro-Gonzalez (28 years of age)
                            Robert Melendez-Jimenez (23 years of age)
                            Roberto Mendez-Rodriguez (48 years of age)
                         
CHARGES:    
 
  • Possession, Possession with the Intent to Deliver, Delivery
  • Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substance Heroin/Fentanyl, Cocaine, Marijuana
  • Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activity
  • orrupt Organizations and orrupt Organizations
  • Criminal Use of Communication Facility         
                      
DETAILS OF INCIDENT:
 
On January 19, 2022, Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams announced at a press conference that over one hundred law enforcement officers from local, state, and federal agencies dismantled a major drug trafficking organization in Berks County, PA. 
 
Search warrants were served at seven locations in Berks County which were identified as points of distribution and seventeen suspects were taken into custody.
 
Seized from the search warrants were substantial amounts of controlled substances, three fully loaded handguns and a large amount of U.S. Currency believed to proceeds from the drug sales.
 
As the investigation progressed, other suspects were developed which revealed a drug smuggling network that reached surrounding out-of-state sources.  Eventually, detectives identified the main source was coming from the Bronx, NY. 
 
Subsequently, the following law enforcement agencies from the State of New York joined in the investigation; The Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor in Manhattan, NY, the United States Marshal’s Service, and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Division, Long Island District Office, Group D-12, a Task Force group comprised of agents and investigators from the DEA, the New York State Police, Hempstead Police Department, Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. 
   
District Attorney Adams explained at the press conference that this was an ongoing investigation which will continue, “Until we can stamp out what we believe is the ultimate source.”
 
On Friday, January 21, 2022 (two days after the press conference), law enforcement agencies from both states (NY and PA), served search warrants on several locations that were identified as the “Heroin Mills” which were the source of the supply.  Three locations were in the Bronx, NY and one in the City of Reading, PA.  Large quantities of heroin/fentanyl, cocaine, packaging material, drug paraphernalia associated with distribution and U.S. Currency believed to be proceeds from drug sales were seized.  The combined street values of the controlled substances seized were estimated at over four million dollars. 
photo of items seized in New York such as suspected heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, packaging material and drug paraphernalia

Three main source suppliers were identified as: 
      
         1.  Nelfi Castro-Gonzalez (28 years of age), Bronx, NY
         2.  Robert Melendez-Jimenez (23 years of age), Bronx, NY
         3.  Roberto Mendez-Rodriguez (48 years of age), Reading, PA
 
Two of the three suspects were apprehended.  Nelfi Castro-Gomez was apprehended in the Bronx, NY and Roberto Mendez-Rodriguez was apprehended in Reading, PA.
 
Robert Melendez-Jiminez is still at large.
 
Nelfi Castro-Gonzalez is currently being detained at Rikers Island Housing Facility awaiting extradition to PA.
 
Roberto Mendez-Rodriguez is currently being detained at Berks County Jail Systems.  His bail was set at $2,000,000 by Magisterial District Judge Alvin Robinson. 
 
As in every criminal case, the fact that an arrest occurred or a complaint has been filed is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
photo of guns, US currency, suspected drugs 
photo of US currency, weapons, suspected drugs