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Two Astoria men charged, allegedly involved in international drug ring

Astoria and drug ring

Dec. 30, 2014 By Michael Florio

Two Astoria men and a Bronx businessman were charged in connection with an international drug ring that went from New York to Mexico, according to Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

Ajay Carter, 38, and Miguel Tormo, 42, both Astoria residents, were charged for selling heroine—which was their role in the extensive ring.

They were nabbed after selling heroine to undercover cops at various locations on Long Island, according to the District Attorney’s office.

Both men face charges of first and third degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

The police kept tabs on them after discovering that they were associated with the alleged drug kingpin and Bronx resident Cesar Romero-Astudillo, 24, a defendant in the case.

Romero-Astudillo allegedly smuggled heroine from Mexico to his Bronx residence where it was then sold by Carter and Tormo, among others.

astoria and defendent“We tracked the supply of narcotics entering our region from the source, and in the process, dismantled a drug trafficking network that stretched from Mexico to New York,” Rice said.

In total 9 men were charged for their association in the ring—including the owner of United Body Works, located at 30-02 12th Avenue in Astoria.

Romero-Astudillo, along with three others, would allegedly drive to United Body Works to sell or distribute heroin.

Santiago Juela, 33, of the Bronx, owns United Body Work, and is also a defendant in the case.

If convicted, Carter faces a maximum of 40 years in prison, while Tormo faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Judge Teresa Corrigan set bail for the men at $5 million bond, or $2.5 million in cash. They are set to return to court on January 8, 2015.

Romero-Astudillo is being charged as a major trafficker and faces 25 years to life in prison. He is being held without bail.

“Heroin addiction has plagued our nation and has contributed to countless overdose deaths throughout our city and state,” New York Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said. “We remain diligent in our efforts to combat this ongoing crisis.”

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