On May 19, authorities in New York City announced that they had seized a record amount of heroin in a single drug bust. After a year-long investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration allegedly discovered 154 pounds of heroin hidden in secret compartments in a Chevrolet Suburban. The drugs have a reported street value of $50 million.
The investigation reportedly involved surveillance and multiple wiretaps. Two men received drug charges after they were taken into custody on May 17. DEA agents had reportedly listened to wiretapped phone calls and learned that the two men were planning to pick up a load of heroin from a warehouse in New Jersey. The men were accompanied to the warehouse by a woman who later drove to the Bronx by herself with the heroin.
Authorities believe that the 46-year-old man headed a five-state heroin distribution operation and the 19-year-old man was his sidekick. The heroin was allegedly smuggled into the country from Mexico. The most serious charge that was handed to each of the two men was a charge for operating as a major drug trafficker. If convicted, the men could each face a maximum prison sentence of 25 years to life.
People who have been accused of working with a drug trafficking organization may argue that they were unaware of the extent of the organization’s alleged criminal activities. A criminal defense attorney may negotiate for reduced charges for such a client. In some cases, pointing out any unlawful police actions that were taken during the investigation could also result in the reduction or dismissal of certain charges.
Source: Daily News, “70 kg. of heroin snagged in the Bronx is biggest DEA seizure in New York State history,” Keldy Ortiz, Barry Paddock, Larry McShane, May 19, 2015