Waterbury police: 4,000 bags of heroin, other drugs found Wednesday

A file photo of a Waterbury, Conn., police cruiser.

A file photo of a Waterbury, Conn., police cruiser.

Waterbury Police Department / Contributed Photo

WATERBURY — Officers seized more than 4,000 bags of heroin and other drugs from three Waterbury homes Wednesday, according to the Waterbury Police Department.

Around 7 a.m. Wednesday, the Waterbury Police Department’s Vice and Intelligence Division, along with the Street Crimes Unit, Gang Task Force and Drug Enforcement Agency, raided three Waterbury homes connected to an ongoing narcotics investigation, officials said. The homes were on Lounsbury Street, Oak Street and Industry Lane.

These agencies have been conducting an ongoing narcotics investigation into three people “that worked in tandem to distribute heroin throughout the city,” according to the police department.

Officers found 3,068 bags of heroin in the home of 24-year-old James Black on Industry Lane, police said. Officers also discovered three handgun magazines, a box of ammunition, packaging material and $2,751 in cash, according to police.

Black was arrested and charged with possession of an ounce or more of heroin and operating a drug factory. He was held on a $500,000 bond, according to the police department.

Inside 24-year-old Kupenda “Momma” Bond’s home on Lounsbury Street, officers found 1,160 bags of heroin, 3.6 grams of raw heroin, numerous fentanyl pills, 202 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, baggies and scales, police said.

Officers also discovered a .31 caliber Derringer powder pistol, a handgun magazine and $464 in cash, police said.

Bond was arrested and charged with operating a drug factory, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of an ounce or more of heroin, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia, illegal possession near a school zone, criminal possession of a pistol or revolver and illegal sale or transfer of a firearm. She was held on a $500,000 bond, according to police.

Officers also went to the home of 39-year-old Efrem “Duke” Collins’ home on Oak Street. There, they found $32,845 in cash, 486.5 grams of marijuana, nine bags of heroin and 16.5 grams of crack cocaine, the police department said.

Collins was arrested and charged with possession of an ounce or more of heroin, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, illegal possession near a school zone and sale of cannabis over 8 ounces. Collins’ bond was set at $50,000 and he was later released, according to the Waterbury Police Department.

In 2020, there were 1,150 overdoses involving fentanyl and 205 overdoses involving heroin statewide, according to data from the Connecticut State Department of Public Health.

Those struggling with substance abuse issues can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration national hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for a free and confidential treatment referral or for more information.