Police in New York City made one of the biggest heroin seizures in the city’s history on Tuesday after noticing two large, suspicious trucks circling a neighborhood.
Investigators ended up finding 100 pounds of heroin – about $14 million worth – hidden in the bed of a pickup truck.
“It’s one of the biggest heroin seizes ever in the City of New York,” DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones.
Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New York Police Department were on the scene investigating heroin distribution in the neighborhood, when they observed two pickup trucks – one towing a hitch trailer – and both with North Carolina license plates, circling the block.
At 8 p.m., officers pulled over the trucks, and were alerted by a drug-sniffing dog that one of the vehicle was carrying narcotics. The drivers of the trucks, Peter Omar Garcia-Romero, 33, and Jose Guadencio Lantan-Vela, 65, were arrested and have been charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, prosecutors said.
Both men are natives of Guatemala; Garcia Romero was living North Carolina; Lantan Vela entered the U.S. on a travel visa on January 15.
The vehicles were taken to DEA’s Manhattan headquarters where a New York State Search Warrant was executed on both vehicles.
Heroin was found concealed within a car axle casing that was in the bed of the silver pick-up truck. The axle was dissembled in three parts; and the heroin was found in the axle and the drive shaft casings. The heroin was pressed into round shapes to fit in the axle casing and packaged in square shapes to fit in the drive shaft.