11 Hartford officers exposed to airborne heroin during massive drug bust

Fifty-thousand bags of heroin were seized as part of a drug bust that sent 11 officers to the hospital. (Hartford police photo)

Nearly a dozen Hartford officers were injured as they executed a search warrant early Wednesday in the Asylum Hill neighborhood.

According to police, members of the Hartford Emergency Response Team executed a warrant at a home on Forest Street around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. While they were inside, 11 officers were exposed to airborne heroin and fentanyl.

The location was said to be right across from Hartford Public High School.

When police raided the apartment, they used flash bangs, which are explosions that will stun anyone. Those flash bangs kicked up some drug powder.

Police said the 11 officers were taken to a local hospital and treated for symptoms including nausea, being light-headed, sore throat and headaches.

All of the officers were treated and released form the hospital.

Deputy Chief Brian Foley also said that all of the officers returned to work on Wednesday.

"The Hartford Police SWAT team probably does 100 to 150 entries a year and without a doubt, they are the most experienced team in the state," Foley said. "They practice this, they train for this, so it's something that we've expected to encounter."

Police said ERT members seized 50,000 bags of heroin, 350 grams of raw heroin, fentanyl and two hand-guns.

They said the heroin was worth about $5 a bag with a net street value of about $250,000.

Eyewitnesses said it was like something they had never seen before, with 40-50 emergency officials involved.

Three people were arrested during the operation. They were identified as 28-year-old Ronald Perez, 26-year-old Byron Rivera, and 30-year-old Marcus Tyson, all of Hartford.

They were charged with possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of one kilogram or more of heroin.

The case was turned over to the State's Attorney's Office, which means it's in federal hands.

HPD busts major Heroin op. 50,000 bags of heroin, 2 hand guns, 350gr raw heroin. Fentanyl, Packaging Op. 3 arrested. pic.twitter.com/8jvRZSWKGE— D/C Foley (@LtFoley) September 14, 2016

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