Two men have been connected to the explosion of a Bronx a drug house which led to the death of a NYFD deputy chief last month. Garibaldi Castillo has been charged with criminal possession of marijuana and may soon be charged with the fire chief’s murder. Another suspect, Julio Salcedo, is currently awaiting extradition from New Jersey to New York.
Both men are accused of tampering with gas pipes, home insulation, and water and electricity meters in order to use resources to grow marijuana. The explosion occurred after the firefighters responded to calls of a gas leak in the vicinity. An inspection of the house led to a discovery of highly combustible elements, fertilizer and helium tanks, in addition to marijuana plants and seedlings. It is suspected that the source of the blast was a gas leak in the house. Upon leaving the building, Deputy Chief Fahy was killed when hit by the debris from the explosion.
As of Oct. 3, the gas pipe leading to the house has been taken to an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms lab in Maryland to examine it for evidence of tampering. The NYPD has determined that a spark in the house reacted with gas in the air, causing the explosion.
Drug and murder charges carry heavy penalties for those convicted. For those who find themselves facing these charges, it is recommended they discuss options and trial strategy with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. This attorney can ensure that protocol was followed and that the charged individuals are properly represented.