Brand-conscious drug dealers used Uber’s logo on their heroin

Some of the branded stamps swept up in a recent drug bust in New York. The Uber stamp is in the upper row, center.

You know it’s been a rough year for Uber when its name winds up in a crime story it had absolutely nothing to do with. 

The DEA announced late last week (flagged today by Gothamist) that on August 2, 2017, it conducted a raid in New York City that netted around $4 million worth of heroin and fentanyl, including small packages meant for sale branded with Uber’s name and logo.

What’s more, it seems that one of the offenders was allegedly a driver for Uber at the time of his arrest, according to the DEA. 

In their press release on the arrest, the DEA said:

…they observed defendant David Rodriguez, exiting the building carrying two boxes inside a large white shopping bag. David Rodriguez then got into the backseat of a black Honda Accord driven by Richard Rodriguez, an Uber driver.

After driving a few blocks, the car was pulled over by agents who found packages containing a substance they suspected to be a mixture of fentanyl and heroin, two substances that have been the main culprits in the current opioid crisis.

Some of the drugs agents found in the bust

Some of the drugs agents found in the bust

A subsequent search of the apartment from which agents saw David Rodriguez leave resulted in the discovery of: 

two large ziplock bags containing approximately three kilograms of a suspected fentanyl and heroin combination from inside a hall closet, as well as 1,100 individual dose glassine envelopes that had been filled with powder and stamped with the brand name “UBER.”

There was also $30,000 in cash, a handgun, and a load of drug paraphernalia agents said was “consistent with a heroin/fentanyl packaging mill.”

Uber wasn’t alone in having their logo branded on the packages. In photos shared by the DEA, logos for large brands like McDonald’s and TV network Animal Planet were also among the stamps being used. 

As for that alleged Uber driver, a spokesperson for Uber told Mashable that they were aware of the arrests and were looking into it. 

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