Huge cocaine bust in the Bronx

June 16, 2008 11:54:38 AM PDT
Drug agents in the Bronx have seized $16 million worth of cocaine hidden in a tractor-trailer truck. The drug shipment, hauled by a 2005 Kenworth tractor trailer with California license plates, was concealed in steel band around the cargo floor at the base of the trailer, according to investigators.

The 400 pounds of cocaine was packaged in kilograms and heavily wrapped in duck tape. Investigators believe that was done to avoid detection by drug sniffing dogs.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan says agents spent 10 hours searching the truck before an X-ray device disclosed the hiding place. Four suspects have been arrested.

Brennan says the truck has California license plates and may have been used by international drug smugglers for other cross-country trips. She says it's believed other such trucks are on the road.

The suspects are charged with first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second-degree conspiracy.

They have been identified as 43-year-old Carlos Loveras of 131 Broome Street in New York, 39-year-old Armando Magallon of Santa Ana, California, 33-year-old Miguel Mejias of 94-65 Plattwood Avenue in Queens, and 30-year-old Antonio Rodriguez of 1317 West Farm Road in the Bronx.

If convicted, they face eight to 20 years in prison.