Longshoremen accused in huge cocaine bust

October 5, 2010 2:29:43 PM PDT
Nearly a dozen people are under arrest including several Longshoremen.

They were arrested in connection with a cocaine trafficking scheme that officials say made millions of dollars.

The port of New York and New Jersey are at the center of the cocaine trafficking conspiracy alleged by the U.S. Attorney which is said to have originated in Panama.

The illegal drugs were reportedly smuggled in thru the port inside containers of legitimate cargo.

Federal officials announced today that 8 of ten suspects arrested in the case are longshoremen, who investigators say were key to the success of the operation.

"By law, Longshoreman have special access to certain restricted areas of the port and so were able to go to containers to off-load the narcotics without being detected," said the U.S. Attorney.

In addition to the arrests, the feds seized 1.3 metric tons of cocaine valued at about $34 million dollars. And as a bonus, they uncovered key information that led to additional arrests in a stock fraud scheme.

'It was a classic pump and dump scheme with a modern twist," added the U.S. Attorney.

The 11 people charged in this case, including one longshoreman, allegedly used social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to spread false information about penny stocks to pump up the price.

Federal prosecutors say those behind the scheme made about $3 million, investors lost about $7M.