NEW YORK, Nov 2 (Reuters) – U.S. legislation enforcement officers seized more than one ton of cocaine allegedly shipped to the New York space from Puerto Rico, the biggest bust of the drug in the area in over a decade, authorities mentioned on Tuesday.
The bust comes as authorities grapple with a 150% improve in cocaine seizures over the previous 12 months in the world, mentioned Ray Donovan, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s particular agent in cost for the New York division.
Cocaine availability nationwide in 2019 dropped 14% from the prior 12 months and hit its lowest degree in six years, and provide remained largely regular all through 2020, in line with a March 2021 DEA report.
“This seizure signifies a shift in the illegal drug landscape in New York,” Donovan mentioned in a assertion.
The 920 kilograms (2,028 kilos) of cocaine seized might have a road worth of between $37 million and $370 million, relying on the retail degree, in line with a particular person aware of the case.
In an indictment filed on Monday, federal prosecutors accused three males – Jorge Aponte-Guzman, Nelson Agramonte-Minaya and Carlos Maisonet-Lopez – of drug trafficking conspiracy in relation to the seized medication.
Officers discovered the cocaine packaged inside giant metallic garden rollers in a rental van that Aponte-Guzman drove from a New Jersey loading dock to a residence, prosecutors mentioned. Delivery data confirmed the rollers have been despatched from Puerto Rico to an handle in the Bronx, they added.
Protection attorneys for Aponte-Guzman and Maisonet-Lopez didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. An lawyer for Agramonte-Minaya declined to remark.
Damian Williams, the brand new U.S. Legal professional for the Southern District of New York sworn in final month, referred to the quantity of cocaine seized as a “massive quantity of dangerous drugs.”
Reporting by Luc Cohen; Modifying by Mark Porter
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