Fentanyl Laced Heroin Leads To Overdoses, Astoria Man Arrested

An Astoria man (45 years old) has been arrested for possessing and selling heroin which was laced with Fentanyl and which led to two non-fatal overdoses in Queens.

Bernard Lewis, with help form a Corona man who was also recently arrested, were selling the drug around the borough while stashing the supply in his home, according to QNS. The investigation was carried out in Astoria and Jackson Heights over a long period of time and also included court-authorized wiretaps.

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The wiretaps revealed conversation which Lewis had with six individuals, all asking to purchase heroin and all made between the months of April 6th and June 17th. According to investigators, Hubert Harris, a 66 year old from Corona was also one of those calls. He was arrested by police on the corner of 41st Road and 12th Street after spending 45 minutes in Lewis’ Astoria apartment.

NYPD’s Queens North Narcotics Division, who stopped Harris, found 98 glassine envelopes on his person. Harris was charged with third and seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to QNS, and third degree criminal sale of a controlled substance along with resisting arrest.

Using the information from the other conversations Lewis had with buyers, police were able to arrest all six; seizing the drugs and finding Fentanyl once properly analyzed.

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In a phone conversation on May 11th which Lewis had with Harris, while Harris was in prison, the two got heated over bond money; with Lewis arguing “if I use a bondsman they gonna want know where the money came from. I can’t do that.”

Lewis said he should have purchased underwear with a special pocket inside it, after Harris told him that the DA was “..talking about it was Fentanyl, and people dying on Fentanyl and the judge went for it.”

Lewis’ Astoria home was searched on July 19th, when investigators found a rock of Fentanyl, along with a box with empty glassine envelopes, a spoon with Fentanyl residue, two plastic bags with more than 750 glassine envelopes with Fentanyl, and $2,900 in cash.

Both Harris and Lewis will be returning to court on August 4th. Lewis is charged with; one count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, six counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds, one count of fourth-degree conspiracy, four counts of second-degree reckless endangerment and two counts of second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia. The sentence for Lewis is up to 12 years behind bars.

The police have been targeting drug dealers who especially sell opioids laced with Fentanyl.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown stated that the borough of Queens has had more overdoses (81 in the past six and a half months), than the number of homicides and vehicular deaths. A definite cause for concern that Brown says has led to heroin making a “deadly comeback to New York City“.

Both Lewis and Harris were ordered to return to court on Aug. 4.