Police busted a major drug distributor Wednesday in New York City after investigators witnessed the dealer selling cocaine concealed in candy wrappers.
Local and federal authorities arrested Juan Pablo Martinez Wednesday night, seizing roughly four and half pounds of cocaine wrapped individually to look like various fruit flavored candies. A Drug Enforcement Administration task force conducting an ongoing investigation of narcotics distribution in Queens spotted Martinez riding a bicycle with a backpack before he stopped at a gas station and made a deal with a driver in a gray Acura, reports NBC New York.
Authorities searched Martinez’s nearby home in Queens after the arrest, discovering several more pounds of cocaine and 12,000 in cash. Officials with the DEA said the cocaine, which totaled 12 pounds, carries an estimated street value of $2 million.
“Leave it to drug traffickers to smuggle cocaine disguised as candy; showing the extreme but evil ingenuity used to make a profit off the sale of poison,” DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt said in a statement Thursday. “We have seen so many different concealment methods, but none more dangerous than using candy as a facade which opens doors to inadvertent overdoses if mistaken by a child.”
Law enforcement is making progress in its fight against major drug traffickers in the region. Police took down a 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.
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.
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