Traffickers Hid Five Tons of Cocaine in Furniture, U.S. Charges
(Bloomberg) -- Drug traffickers smuggled almost five tons of cocaine over 10 months into continental U.S. by hiding it in hollowed-out furniture, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday in Manhattan.
Pedro Guzman Martinez, Abel Montilla, Jorge Miranda-Sang and Luis Gomez Ortiz were charged with aiding an organization that shipped the drug from Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland in 2018 and 2019.
The four men arranged 100-kilogram shipments of cocaine concealed inside of custom tables and other furniture with destinations that included New York, Connecticut, Florida and Massachusetts, according to prosecutors.
The charges stemmed from a three-year investigation into an international drug organization that has moved thousands of kilograms of cocaine, U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, Audrey Strauss, said in a statement. The organization wasn’t identified in the indictment.
Prosecutors estimated the street value of the cocaine at about $144 million.
The men are each charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics, which carries a sentence from 10 years to life in prison.
The case is: U.S. v. Martinez, 19-cr-00536, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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