Mexico-based Texas to New York Heroin Ring Busted, Millions in Cartel Cash Seized
Federal law enforcement authorities busted a trio allegedly involved in a Mexico-based drug trafficking organization moving large quantities of heroin from Texas to New York. Officers seized more than $4.1 million in cash and three kilos of heroin.
“By seizing this money, law enforcement has denied Mexican drug traffickers over $4 million of profit off their poison,” DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt said in the statement.
Agents carrying out a joint operation of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) El Dorado Task Force (EDTF) and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New York Drug Enforcement Task Force (DETF) teamed up to arrest three alleged drug traffickers in the Bronx, New York.
Agents arrested the alleged ringleader Jorge Pizarro,41, along with two of his co-defendants, Nelson Dejesus,40, and Miguel Angeles, 27, on Saturday, March 18, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from ICE officials.
Following the trio’s arrest at a Bronx Secure Self Storage facility, agents and officers conducted additional searches of a U-Haul and a Dodge Caravan.
The EDTF team learned that Pizarro operated an interstate drug trafficking organization that moved large quantities of heroin from Texas to New York. During the bust, the team discovered the heroin hidden in the furniture stored in the facility. They also alleged Pizarro conspired to ship large quantities of U.S. currency from New York back to Texas in the same furniture, officials stated.
“Using furniture that contained hidden compartments, these individuals ran a large interstate drug trafficking organization that flooded our streets with heroin,” Special Agent in Charge of HSI New York Angel M. Melendez said in a written statement. “The seizure of over $4 million dollars in US currency shows how lucrative the drug trade is but also severely hinders the drug traffickers who were supposed to receive it.”
During the Saturday operation, the DETF team seized 3 kilos of heroin along with a total of $4.15 million in cash.
After obtaining search warrants, the team conducted additional searches on the U-Haul and Caravan seized on the night of the initial arrest, officials explained. A search of the U-Haul revealed three pieces of wooden furniture. Compartments in the furniture contained $3.4 million in cash. The search of the Caravan revealed a secret compartment in the floor. The compartment was empty, but officials found a bottle of fox urine. Smugglers use fox urine to throw of K-9’s in the event of a cursory search.
Officials have not yet arrested the owner of the Caravan. That person also allegedly rented the U-Haul found at the scene.
During a search of the self-storage unit, the team discovered more than six pounds of heroin in a nightstand. A second nightstand contained $750,000 in cash. The officers found the bounty in hidden compartments in the nightstands.
“Drug traffickers hid in plain sight carting drug and money-laden furniture cross country. This isn’t the first time drug traffickers have used ingenious methods to smuggle drugs, but it was a well-planned scheme,” Special Agent in Charge Hunt stated. “The organization thought of every detail, from adding a tricycle to their stash of furniture in order to appear like a relocating family, to spraying the contents with repellant to ward off police K-9 units.”
A Bronx grand jury returned an indictment against the three co-conspirators on Tuesday.