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Arrest made after police find cocaine hidden in yucca across from Bronx school

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Carolina Leid has the story.

Police say they found a stash of drugs across the street from a school in the Bronx, hidden in hundreds of pounds of a popular Latin American vegetable.

How many times have you heard eat your veggies? Turns out that was a good hiding spot for an accused drug dealer in the Soundview section of the Bronx.

Police say Francisco Ramirez stuffed cocaine inside fake yucca roots inside his Manor Avenue apartment.

The take down happened directly across the street from PS 196.

Neighbors can't believe this was going on so close to the elementary school.

"I saw the commotion, all the police cars. You would never think that, especially near a school," said Anthony Rivera, a neighbor. "He shouldn't be doing that. Our kids come first."

DEA agents say they saw Ramirez do something suspicious near East 172nd Street and Stratford Avenue around 1 p.m. Wednesday.

So they searched his backpack and allegedly found heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana along with $100,000 in cash.

They then searched his apartment and allegedly recovered more heroin, cocaine and cash.

Police ultimately found 50 kilos of cocaine, 500 grams of heroin and $325,000 in cash.

Neighbors say they never had a problem with the 46-year-old man who's now behind bars.

"This is a quiet neighborhood. I live in the neighborhood for 35 years. I'm surprised," said Eduarda Vasquez, a neighbor.

Ramirez is facing various counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

"The extent that drug traffickers will go to make a profit from the sale of poison ceases to amaze me. For example, DEA has seized drugs concealed in random items such as chess pieces, tombstones, lollipops and live puppies," said DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt.

"It is shocking to find such a large amount of drugs so close to a school," said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan.
Related Topics:
newsbronx newsdrug bustcocaineSoundviewNew York City
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