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BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) – Bensalem police arrested three men — two who are suspected illegal immigrants — and seized $4.5 million worth of heroin, fentanyl and contraband over the weekend as part of an ongoing narcotics trafficking investigation in Bucks County. Authorities raided the apartment on 1262 Neshaminy Valley Drive on Saturday.
Jose Nieves Velez, 31, Emanuel Rodrigues-Santiago, 31, and Hamlet Bentacourt Pimentel, 38, were charged with multiple drug violations. All three have been remanded to the Bucks County Correctional Facility in lieu of $1 million each.
Authorities say they interrupted the three suspects as they were actively cutting and packaging the narcotics for sale. Hundreds of baggies of heroin/fentanyl and approximately three kilograms of the drugs were seized, according to police. Police also found $40,000 in cash, among other materials.
Police also said that 2,400 ml of xylazine was also found inside the apartment.
In a news conference Tuesday, police said they made the bust after receiving a tip and later discovering drugs in the suspects’ trash.
Bensalem police tell Eyewitness News the men they arrested were not just street dealers but higher up in the illegal drug food chain.
“We had some information and were able to freshen that information Saturday morning by some old fashioned police work, basically going through someone’s trash. That’s not a police secret,” Bensalem police director Fred Harran.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have placed detainers on Nieves Velez and Rodrigues-Santiago.
Officials say Nieves Velez entered the U.S. illegally and Rodrigues-Santiago is a previously deported convicted felon.
Bentacourt Pimentel has resident alien status, police said.