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Nine Arrested in Multi Million Dollar Mexico to Long Island, NY Drug Pipeline Bust

December 20, 2014  |  Posted by: JammedUp
Nine Arrested in Multi Million Dollar Mexico to Long Island, NY Drug Pipeline Bust Cesar Romero-Astudillo (left), Luis Alberto Mendoza Rosas (Middle) and Carlos Reyes - Images courtesy of nydailynews.com

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Officials squashed a massive drug pipeline that brought millions of dollars in heroin from Mexico to Long Island, authorities announced Thursday.

Nine people from Mexico, California, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens were arrested in the bust after months of investigating, Nassau County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

The pipeline used a minivan with fictitious California license plates and mounted with bikes and a kayak to transport kilos of heroin across the border, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said. The drugs ultimately ended up in Long island and New York City.

Other mules brought drugs from California by swallowing them and then flying to New York, officials said.

Investigators started looking into the case in 2013 and finally tracked down the drug-carrying SUV in September in New Jersey.

They found five kilograms of black tar heroin hidden in its engine.

Two of the nine suspects were charged in Nassau County, officials announced Friday.

Last month, 38-year-old Ajay Carter and 42-year-old Miguel Tormo, both from Queens, pleaded not guilty to criminal sale of a controlled substance charges.

ajay-carter-and-miguel-tormo                                                                                                              Ajay Carter (left) and Miguel Tormo (right)

If convicted, Carter faces up to 40 years in prison. Tormo faces up to 20 years.

Five more named suspects were indicted: Cesar Romero-Astudillo, 24, of the Bronx; Luis Alberto Mendoza Rosas, 34, of the Bronx; Carlos Reyes, 39, of the Bronx; Santiago Juela, 33, of Brooklyn; and Vincent Belmontes, 24, of Riverside, California.

Two suspects who have not been arraigned yet were also indicted: A 57-year-old from Chula Visa, California, and a 21-year-old from Los Mochis, Mexico.

Romero-Astudillo was the ringleader, officials said, while the other eight all helped operate the pipeline. The group was slammed with a slew of drug charges.

Each suspect faces maximum sentences between 20 and 25 years in prison.

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