STAMFORD — A lengthy drug investigation with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration led the Stamford police department to make its biggest heroin bust in years last week.

Initially the federal government did not allow the department talk about the bust, but police now say they seized over five pounds of the powerfully addictive substance.

“I can’t remember in Samford in recent years of us seizing that much heroin at one time,” said Capt. Richard Conklin, who supervises the department’s Narcotics and Organized Crime squad. “This was a lengthy investigation with Narcotics and Organized Crime working with the local DEA office and it involved Joaquin Veras selling large amounts of heroin at a number of buys. That led up to May 16 when arrangements were made to purchase a kilo of raw heroin, which took place at the Fairway Market parking lot.”

After seizing the heroin on that day, police then executed three search-and-seizure warrants on Ludlow Street and Glenbrook Road and came up with another kilo of heroin, 200 plastic bags of heroin, along with about $10,500 in cash, Conklin said.

Federal authorities arrested Veras, 44, of Ludlow Street, on a criminal complaint charging him with possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin. He is being held without bond, said Tom Carson, spokesman for U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut John Durham.

“This was a very involved and intricate case with our partners in the DEA and it resulted in a very substantial amount of heroin being seized,” Conklin said. “There are many communities in the region plagued by heroin and opioid overdoses and this was a very involved case that worked very well between NOC and our partners at the DEA.”

According to a federal warrant, Veras has, since at least February 2019, conspired to distribute and possessed with intent to distribute heroin. He was convicted of heroin distribution in August 2011 in the Southern District of New York and sentenced to 57 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

The warrant also stated that Stamford NOC officers received information that Veras was a heroin and cocaine supplier that had access to kilo-sized quantities of narcotics.

On May 16 an informant worked out a plan to meet Veras at Fairway Market to purchase 1,000 grams of heroin for $58,000. The deal called for the informant to give Veras $43,000 in cash with the remaining $15,000 to be paid later when when the dealer sold some of the drugs, the warrant said.