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Feds indict smugglers who used ingenious methods to move drugs across the country

March 25, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Feds indict smugglers who used ingenious methods to move drugs across the country

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Federal prosecutors are describing the great lengths alleged drug smugglers went to cover up their operation after $4.1 million and over six pounds of heroin were confiscated by federal authorities at a New York storage facility last weekend.

Three men were taken into custody for their role in what investigators are referring to as an interstate drug operation, where they reportedly transported money and drugs throughout the U.S. by hiding the contraband in secret compartments concealed inside parts of furniture, according to a  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement press release.

The men were arrested on Saturday after federal agents witnessed them moving several pieces of furniture in and out of a Bronx storage facility. The raid occurred as a result of a long-term probe into the conspiracy which was focused on the storage unit registered under one of the men’s names.

Smugglers use tricycle, fox urine to move drugs across the country

Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, praised the work of all individuals involved with the investigation and apprehensions.

“The toll on human lives represented by this amount of drug money, hidden in hydraulic compartments for interstate traffickers, cannot be measured,” Brennan announced in a statement. “This investigation demonstrates how lucrative and highly organized the narcotics trade has become.”

Brennan’s news release indicated that the smugglers brought the heroin from Texas to New York and Lawrence, MA to sell. Investigators believe the suspects sent the cash back to Texas hidden in the same furniture that transported the drugs.

Along with contraband-filled furniture inside of the storage unit, officials found similarly modified pieces of furniture inside of a U-Haul truck and a Dodge Caravan equipped with a hidden compartment in the floor. Inside the glove compartment, officials also discovered a bottle of fox urine, which is reportedly used to disguise the scent of narcotics.

Over $4.1 million in cash was seized from a storage unit in the Bronx

“The organization thought of every detail, adding a tricycle to their stash of furniture to appear like a relocating family and spraying the content with repellant to ward off K-9 units,” DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt stated. “By seizing this money, law enforcement has denied drug traffickers over $4 million of profit.”

The three men were charged with first and third-degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and were arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court. Bail for each was established between $750,000 and $4,000,000.

NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill applauded the cooperation between federal and local officials involved in the bust. “This precision enables us to prevent crime and overdoses, saving lives.”

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