920 kilos of cocaine headed for NYC seized, DEA says


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.

Image shows the seized cocaine next to open, empty lawn rollers.
The cocaine was hidden inside metal rollers typically used in smoothing out the surface of lawns or pressing seeds into topsoil.

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 were 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 that had another 460 kilos of coke stashed inside 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.

Photo shows bundles of cocaine next to an empty lawn roller.
Cocaine seizures have risen more than 150% in the last year, according to DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan.

“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.


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