Feds seize 920-kilo ‘storm of cocaine’ hidden in lawn rollers in largest NYC drug bust in a decade

Three New Jersey men are changed with concealing a stunning 920 kilos of cocaine in shipments of metal lawn rollers, federal prosecutors said Tuesday, announcing the largest seizure of drugs bound for New York in a decade.

Nelson Agramonte-Minaya, Carlos Maisonet-Lopez and Jorge Aponte-Guzman are charged with conspiracy in connection with the seizure of the cocaine, which amounts to more than a ton and is valued in the tens of millions of dollars.

“A multimillion-dollar storm of cocaine was seized before it could wreak havoc in the Northeast. Over one ton of cocaine was seized, making it the largest cocaine seizure destined for the streets of New York in over a decade,” said federal Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan.

“This seizure signifies a shift in the illegal drug landscape in New York, with cocaine seizures rising more than 150% in the last year.”

Narcotics agents say they discovered the mother lode of blow in a rental van driven by Aponte-Guzman, 33, on Sept. 29 from a loading dock to an apartment in New Jersey. Inside the van were shipping pallets from Puerto Rico containing lawn rollers.

Agramonte-Minaya, 37, and Maisonet-Lopez, 32, were waiting at the basement apartment outfitted with furniture covered in plastic, covered-up windows, and power tools they planned to use to crack open the lawn rollers, according to court docs. DEA agents cut open 10 of the lawn rollers and found 460 kilos of cocaine, according to court papers.

The cocaine was hidden inside metal rollers typically used in smoothing out the surface of lawns or pressing seeds into topsoil.

Agents say they seized a second haul of lawn rollers containing cocaine at the loading dock the following day after a worker tipped off the feds. It contained 10 more coke-filled lawn rollers from the same address in Puerto Rico and the same consignee address in the Bronx.

A judge released Maisonet-Lopez under strict conditions and remanded Aponte-Guzman and Agramonte-Minaya. They face a possible life sentence if convicted of the drug trafficking conspiracy charges.

The bust is the second large seizure of cocaine in recent months. In July, the feds arrested four men for smuggling 4,500 kilos of cocaine worth a whopping $144 million from Puerto Rico to New York, Massachusetts, Florida, and Connecticut.

The suspects allegedly stashed the drugs in hollowed-out custom tables and other furniture that contained 100-kilo quantities of cocaine.

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