Dallas police seize heroin destined to be 'cheese'

By Tanya Eiserer
The Dallas Morning News 

OAK CLIFF, Texas From a west Oak Cliff apartment, a major heroin-peddling operation was supplying makers of "cheese" heroin, Dallas police said Thursday.

On Sept. 24, police seized almost four kilos of Mexican black tar heroin worth between $120,000 and $140,000 on the street in a raid of two apartment units at a complex in the 600 block of North Plymouth Road.

"They were wholesale dealers for black heroin tar that was destined to be cheese on the street," said Dallas Police Deputy Chief Julian Bernal, commander of the narcotics division.

Cheese is ground black tar heroin mixed with antihistamines containing diphenhydramine. The tan-colored, snortable concoction is thought to be more appealing to young people than more traditional forms of heroin.

Since 2005, "cheese" heroin has been suspected in the fatal overdoses of at least 24 people 18 or younger in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Police believe that the Dallas-based operation that was raided last week was selling to the several cheese manufacturers in the area, Chief Bernal said.

"The seizure could literally make millions of hits of cheese at two dollars a hit," Chief Bernal said.

From the two apartments, police also seized 50 pounds of marijuana and 120 grams of cocaine, as well as six handguns, two rifles, three vehicles and about $5,500.

Hugo Cabrera, 28; Maria Velez, 32;Ramiro Cabrera, 36; each were in the Dallas County jail held on one count of manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance. Eugenia Rebollar, 23, was being held at the jail on count of possession of marijuana.

All four were being held for immigration authorities.

Copyright 2007 Dallas Morning News

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