NYPD investigating after two drug overdoses at Brooklyn migrant mega-shelter

The NYPD is investigating two illegal immigrants overdosing in a car outside a mega-shelter in Brooklyn opened by Mayor Eric Adams and is attempting to determine if there is a larger drug organization preying on migrants as Chief of Detectives James Essig claims, “Fentanyl is in everything now.”

The two men found dead in a parked Nissan Sentra outside of the Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center at Jefferson Avenue in Bushwick were identified as Anthony Jose Luna Ruiz, 24, of Venezuela, and Jhonny Jose Torres, 25, of Colombia, according to police. Both arrived in New York City in December.

Torres died at the scene and the Ruiz was rushed to Woodhall Hospital but did not survive, according to police.

A manager who works at the Bushwick site told police he recognized the men as asylum seekers who have been staying at the facility, according to sources that spoke with the Daily News.

Brooklyn Councilwoman Jennifer Gutierrez, a Democrat whose district includes the Jefferson St. migrant shelter, recounted that she was told by officers from the local precinct that the two men were from Venezuela and Colombia.

She said police also told her one of the men’s brothers was staying at another nearby migrant shelter. The brother has been notified of his sibling’s death, she said.

Four illegal immigrants staying in New York City shelters have died since they started arriving in waves last spring.

“It’s so heartbreaking,” Gutierrez commented according to the Daily News.

“As we go through it, we’ll see who’s dealing there,” Essig asserted. “If there is continuing drug dealing, if there’s any sort of hierarchy, that will be part of our investigation.”

Drug paraphernalia and an alleged drug sales ledger were both found in the car as well as more than $1,000 in cash, according to the detective.

Toxicology reports were run on both men but it’s still not clear what drugs they were using that killed them. Fentanyl is the most likely cause of death according to Essig.

Fabien Levy, who is a spokesman for Mayor Adams, confirmed the deaths and said the incident remains under NYPD investigation.

“We were saddened to learn about the tragic death this week of two asylum seekers found outside of a facility in Brooklyn where the city is providing migrants shelter,” Levy asserted. “Asylum seekers had a long and difficult journey before arriving in New York City, and while these deaths did not occur inside one of our facilities, this is why we provide access to mental health support among the services at our humanitarian relief centers.”

There are over 45,000 migrants that City Hall is trying to place in city care and they claim they have run out of room, according to the New York Post. The city is reviewing additional locations upstate and around the five boroughs, looking for shelter for illegal immigrants.

Adams announced the opening of the shelter in March, proclaiming that it would help approximately “1,200 single men seeking asylum” with housing and support.

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