Watertown police bust 'convenience store' of drugs - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Watertown police bust 'convenience store' of drugs

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The items seized by Watertown police. (WFSB photo) The items seized by Watertown police. (WFSB photo)
Henry Vargas (left) and Andre Hoffler (right). (Watertown police photos) Henry Vargas (left) and Andre Hoffler (right). (Watertown police photos)
Police seized 463 bags of heroin, three grams of crack cocaine as well as $4,348. Police seized 463 bags of heroin, three grams of crack cocaine as well as $4,348.
The raided home on Franklin Avenue. (WFSB photo) The raided home on Franklin Avenue. (WFSB photo)
Carlos Bermudez (left) and Aldo Vargas (right). (Watertown police photos) Carlos Bermudez (left) and Aldo Vargas (right). (Watertown police photos)
WATERTOWN, CT (WFSB) -

Police in Watertown said they made a big drug bust Thursday morning.

After weeks of surveillance, they said they raided a home on Franklin Avenue.

Aldo Vargas, 31, and 26-year-old Carlos Bermudez were arrested. They were the residents of the home.

Heroine, crack cocaine and cash were seized. What police showed Eyewitness News they said was just a glimpse of what they found.

"They set up shop like this was a convenience store," said Watertown Police Chief John Gavallas. "You had people coming and going really with any regard for what the neighbors were thinking or what law enforcement was thinking."

Gavallas said the seizures were the product of a significant drug raid.

"We found thousands of dollars of crack cocaine and cash in the house," Gavallas said.

Vargas and Bermudez have prior drug charges, police said. They also said they have a warrant for one of their girlfriends. She was not home Thursday morning.

Police said the men were also facing more charges because there was a 5-year-old child inside at the time of the raid.

It was not clear how the child is related to the suspects.

Neighbors said the raid was hard to watch.

"In a way it does surprise me," said Stanley Mastayda, a neighbor. "Because this used to be a very nice neighborhood."

Neighbors blamed the landlord of the home for renting to people with criminal pasts.

"They have a slumlord who rents these houses out to God knows who," said Janice Mastayda, a neighbor. "And I think that's where the problem comes from. And I think it's ruining our neighborhood."

After police cleared the scene, the police chief had an undercover officer surveil the home.

Around 1:30 p.m., a car with Rhode Island license plates pulled up in front of the home. The people in the car were not aware of the raid that just happened there.

The officer noticed people making hand-to-hand transactions and saw marijuana in the vehicle in plain view. 

Police approached the car and there was an odor of drugs from the vehicle. Henry Vargas, 26, of Waterbury and Andre Hoffler, 21, were inside the vehicle and arrested. 

Vargas was in possession of crack cocaine and Hoffler admitted to having heroin. 

Police searched the vehicle and found 463 bags of heroin, three grams of crack cocaine as well as $4,348. 

Police said Henry Vargas is the brother of Aldo Vargas, who was arrested earlier in the day.

Henry Vargas and Hoffler were charged with two counts of possession of a narcotic with intent to sell and two counts of possession of a narcotic as well as one count of possession of marijuana less than four ounces.

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