Two pickup trucks were cruising around NYC with $14 million worth of heroin inside. DEA agents arrested two Guatemalan men on drug trafficking charges in the Jackson Heights area of Queens earlier this week. Agents discovered bag after bag of illegal drugs hidden inside truck components. The drug bust was one of the biggest in the city’s history.
The massive amount of snow dumped on New York City appears to have aided the DEA agents in the heroin bust. The men driving the silver pickup and a blue monster truck simply could not find a place to park the drug-filled trucks, and were forced to keep circling the same block over and over in search of a spot.
Peter Omar Garcia-Romero and Jose Guadencio Lantan-Vela were arrested as they drove around Queens in the pickup truck and monster truck after driving around the block in Jackson Heights very slowly several times. Both of the vehicles had North Carolina plates, the Daily Mail reports. One of the vehicles was not registered with the department of motor vehicles. Unfortunately for the two Guatemalan men, the Elmhurst block of the NYC borough was under DEA surveillance.
The Jackson Heights area in Queens was placed under surveillance and being monitored by the DEA, New York State Police, and the NYPD for drug trafficking. Heroin distribution in the northeast region of the country, New York, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in particular, has become a mounting problem for law enforcement agencies.
Drug overdose deaths have significantly increased in nearly every state in the republic, according to a New York Times report. Most of the deaths by drug addicts have been attributed to heroin use and prescription drug abuse. Deaths of drug addicts has reportedly increased at a rate much higher than causes of death by other means. About 15 of every 100,000 deaths is due to drugs, according to the most recent statistics. The drug overdose deaths are now considered to rival the amount of HIV deaths when they hit their peak in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The alleged Guatemalan drug dealers gave DEA agents “inconsistent” statements, according to comments from Erin Mulvey to the New York Post.
“It was a monster pickup truck driving around the streets of Queens looking for a place to park in the snow, so it really stood out. The two trucks kept going around and around in the same area,” Mulvey said.
A drug dog from the NYC Port Authority hit upon the pickup truck and the monster truck, prompting DEA agents to garner a search warrant to search the vehicles. The immigration status of the two Guatemalan natives has not yet been released to the public.
The DEA agents sent to Jackson Heights to investigate the $14 million heroin bust found drugs hidden inside a truck axle in the back of the pickup, ABC 7 News reports. The drugs were packaged into round shapes so that they would fit inside the disassembled axle, casing, and drive shaft casings in the back of the vehicles.
Garcia-Romero and Lantan-Vela face second degree felony charges of conspiracy and both first and third degree felony charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance.
The DEA also noted that the $14 million heroin bust is not related to the ongoing drug trafficking investigation in Queens. Last November, DEA agents made a cocaine bust in the New York City borough that netted $4.2 million worth of the illegal substance.
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