More than a ton of cocaine headed for the Big Apple was found stashed in metal lawn rollers when authorities recently busted a trio of drug-traffickers, officials said Tuesday.
Authorities said the 920 kilograms of coke represents the biggest seizure of cocaine destined for New York City in more than a decade.
“A multimillion-dollar storm of cocaine was seized before it could wreak havoc in the Northeast,” DEA Special Agent in Charge 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% in the last year.”
Suspected drug-pushers Jorge Aponte-Guzman, Nelson Agramonte-Minaya and Carlos Maisonet-Lopez were busted in September after Aponte-Guzman drove a rental van to a New Jersey loading dock and picked up 460 kilos of blow, prosecutors said.
He then met up with his two co-defendants at a New Jersey house, where the feds busted them and seized the coke, officials said. The drugs stashed inside lawn rollers, or mini-steam rollers used to flatten ground.
The next day, DEA agents seized another 10 lawn rollers from the loading dock which had another 460 kilos of coke stashed inside of them, officials said.
The suspects were each charged with conspiring to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, a charge that carries a potential maximum sentence of life in prison.
“DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to guard against drug trafficking organizations’ tactics and techniques to smuggle drugs into our country,” he added.