Drug agents seize 920kg of cocaine bound for New York, biggest haul in more than 10 years

‘A multi-million dollar storm of cocaine was seized before it could wreak havoc in the Northeast’

Bevan Hurley
Wednesday 03 November 2021 13:50
<p>A record cocaine haul bound for New York was seized in New Jersey in late September</p>

A record cocaine haul bound for New York was seized in New Jersey in late September

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The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has seized 920kg of high-grade cocaine headed for the New York metropolitan area, authorities say.

Three men, Jorge Aponte-Guzman, Nelson Agramonte-Minaya, and Carlos Maisonet-Lopez, have been indicted for participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy.

According to the DEA, Aponte-Guzman allegedly transported 460kg of the cocaine in a rental van from a loading dock in New Jersey to a home in the state on 29 September.

Agents allegedly found the illegal stash hidden inside 10 large metal lawn rollers.

Shipping records said the drugs had come from Puerto Rico and were destined for the Bronx.

The next day DEA agents allegedly found another 460kg consignment of the drugs also wrapped in 10 large metal lawn rollers at the same New Jersey loading dock.

The combined haul was the largest cocaine seizure in New York for more than a decade.

“A multi-million dollar storm of cocaine was seized before it could wreak havoc in the Northeast,” special agent in charge of the DEA’s New York Division Ray Donovan said in a statement.

“This seizure signifies a shift in the illegal drug landscape in New York with cocaine seizures rising more than 150 per cent in the last year.”

Thomas A Gleason, Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, said: “A seizure of this magnitude underscores the critical importance of working together with our federal and local law enforcement partners in the DEA Westchester Task Force.”

Two hauls of 460kgs of cocaine were discovered hidden in metal lawn rollers

Aponte-Guzman, 33, Agramonte-Minaya 37, and Maisonet-Lopez, 32, are charged with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.  

Details of the record seizure were presented in court in late September and early October, and the indictment was unsealed in a Manhattan federal court this week.

The three indicted men face life in prison.

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