WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A task force of county and local police officers, along with FBI agents, arrested two men last week following a six-month investigation into heroin sales in Westchester and Putnam counties.
During the investigation, police say undercover officers made numerous purchases of heroin in Yorktown, Mount Pleasant, Mahopac and Yonkers. Undercover officers also made two separate purchases of loaded handguns in Yonkers as part of the investigation.
Neil Mena, 30, of the Bronx, and Richard Almaraz, 42, of Yonkers were arrested at their homes Wednesday, Sept. 14. Mena was allegedly in possession of a loaded 9mm pistol and an ounce of heroin, and Almaraz was allegedly in possession of heroin and cocaine. They both face a federal charge of narcotics conspiracy; Mena faces an additional federal charge of possession of a firearm in connection with a narcotics conspiracy.
Almaraz served 21 years in state prison on second-degree murder conviction before being released on lifetime parole in 2015. Mena has served time in federal prison and was on federal parole for narcotics and weapons charges, according to police.
The task force that conducted the investigation and made the arrests included members of the Westchester County Police Narcotics Unit, the Peekskill and Croton-on-Hudson police departments, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force and the Yorktown Police Department.
“We are proud to assist and be a part of the initiative to attack the sale of narcotics in our community,” said Yorktown Police Chief Robert Noble.
In all, undercover officers from the Westchester County Police purchased more than 300 glassine envelopes of heroin and an additional 7.5 ounces of raw heroin from the suspects during the investigation, according to police. The heroin has a street value of about $48,000.
The weapons purchased were a Ruger LCP .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol and .380 rounds of ammunition, and an Iberia .40-caliber S&W semiautomatic pistol, magazine and 40 rounds.
Both suspects were arraigned in U.S. District Court in White Plains and were remanded to custody without bail. They will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.