Drugs

154-pound heroin seizure worth $50 million sets record for New York, authorities say

  • A firearm and 154 pounds of heroin worth at least $50 million are displayed at a Drug Enforcement Administration news conference, Tuesday, May 19, 2015 in New York. The DEA called the heroin seizure its largest ever in New York state. Officials said on Tuesday that most of the drugs were found in an SUV in the Bronx following a wiretap investigation. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

    A firearm and 154 pounds of heroin worth at least $50 million are displayed at a Drug Enforcement Administration news conference, Tuesday, May 19, 2015 in New York. The DEA called the heroin seizure its largest ever in New York state. Officials said on Tuesday that most of the drugs were found in an SUV in the Bronx following a wiretap investigation. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sacks of money, right, worth $2 million, and 154 pounds of heroin, left, worth at least $50 million, are displayed at a Drug Enforcement Administration news conference, Tuesday, May 19, 2015 in New York. The DEA called the heroin seizure its largest ever in New York state. Officials said on Tuesday that most of the drugs were found in an SUV in the Bronx following a wiretap investigation. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

    Sacks of money, right, worth $2 million, and 154 pounds of heroin, left, worth at least $50 million, are displayed at a Drug Enforcement Administration news conference, Tuesday, May 19, 2015 in New York. The DEA called the heroin seizure its largest ever in New York state. Officials said on Tuesday that most of the drugs were found in an SUV in the Bronx following a wiretap investigation. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)  (The Associated Press)

  • A firearm and 154 pounds of heroin worth at least $50 million are displayed at a Drug Enforcement Administration news conference, Tuesday, May 19, 2015 in New York. The DEA called the heroin seizure its largest ever in New York state. Officials said on Tuesday that most of the drugs were found in an SUV in the Bronx following a wiretap investigation. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

    A firearm and 154 pounds of heroin worth at least $50 million are displayed at a Drug Enforcement Administration news conference, Tuesday, May 19, 2015 in New York. The DEA called the heroin seizure its largest ever in New York state. Officials said on Tuesday that most of the drugs were found in an SUV in the Bronx following a wiretap investigation. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)  (The Associated Press)

An investigation of a pair of New York City drug traffickers has resulted in a record seizure of more than 150 pounds of heroin from Mexico worth at least $50 million, authorities said Tuesday.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan called the heroin seizure the largest ever recorded by the DEA in New York state. Agents also arrested and recovered $2 million in cash.

Authorities believe the ring had been receiving similar-size shipments each month from suppliers in Mexico. They say it was a main source of heroin for users in New York City, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

"To put it in perspective, this load was so large it carried the potential of supplying a dose of heroin to every man, woman and child in New York City," Brennan said in a statement. "While this important seizure stopped a huge amount of heroin from flooding our city, it also highlights the critical need to intercept heroin before it ever reaches our region."

According to a criminal complaint, investigators monitoring wiretaps learned the defendants were expecting a large drug shipment over the weekend. They followed the two suspects as they traveled in tandem in a Chevy Suburban and another vehicle to an industrial area of Montville, New Jersey, where tractor-trailers were parked, and then to a residential part of the Bronx, the complaint says.

After a drug-sniffing dog detected drugs inside the parked SUV, agents stopped one of the suspects for questioning as he pulled up in a car that contained a smaller amount of heroin, authorities said. The suspect told agents there was a larger amount of drugs in the SUV and gave them instructions on how to open secret compartments inside the vehicle, they said.

A search of the Suburban resulted in the recovery of 70 kilograms — about 154 pounds — inside two compartments, authorities said. Another search at a nearby apartment turned up $2 million underneath a floor, they said.