Police took down a major drug operation Tuesday that used dealers posing as Uber drivers to distribute cocaine and heroin throughout New York City.
The suspected dealers allegedly put fake stickers and logos for Uber on their vehicles as a way to disguise their activities. The drivers would often go on runs in the Bronx and Manhattan that required waiting outside apartment complexes for deliveries, and the Uber logos helped them blend in and avoid any suspicion, reports WABC.
Officials from the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York said the distribution network was highly lucrative and moved large volumes of narcotics. The group, led by 34-year-old Alfredo Tejada-Almonte, allegedly had more than 100 active customers.
Authorities arrested Alfredo last week and busted co-conspirators Dibanny Cortorreal-Marte, 37, Miguel La Paz-Lugo, 36, Oscar Tejada-Almonte, 31, and Selena Santos, 22, Tuesday. Officers seized one kilogram of cocaine, five vehicles and nearly 23,000 in cash Tuesday.
Law enforcement is making progress in its fight against major drug traffickers in the region. Police busted a massive drug operation in February that distributed heroin cut with fentanyl in Staten Island, causing the overdose death of a pregnant woman. Amanda Dimarinis, one of those arrested in the bust, was a teacher at local middle school I.S. 49 and allegedly sold heroin cut with fentanyl on the property during her lunch breaks.
A joint investigation between the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, the New York City Police Department and the DEA over eight months culminated in a massive drug bust Jan. 31. Police arrested 32 people involved in an international heroin distribution ring, seizing more than 100 pounds of opioids worth roughly $22 million.