Six drug traffickers were indicted today after cops seized more than 100 pounds of cocaine in a drug bust near Times Square.
According to the city's special narcotics prosecutor and state police, two of the defendants were observed leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel with suitcases and getting into cars on Oct. 25.
One of the men, Luis Cuevas-Muniz, got out of a livery cab a block away without the suitcase and began walking back toward the hotel, officials said. Officers pulled over the car and recovered the suitcase, which contained eight pounds of cocaine. The driver was taken into custody.
When Cuevas-Muniz returned to the hotel, officials spotted him talking to another man with a suitcase in the lobby. Investigators arrested Cuevas-Muniz and recovered the suitcase, but the second man fled and has still not been arrested, according to prosecutors. The suitcase contained 66 pounds of cocaine.
The other man seen leaving the hotel with a suitcase, Fernando Alvarado, was pulled over in a BMW near 50th Street and 6th Avenue. Investigators said his suitcase contained 14 pounds of cocaine. Alvarado and his driver were arrested.
Officials raided the defendants' hotel room, where they arrested two more suspects and recovered plastic wrappings used to cover kilos of narcotics, cell phones and plane tickets that revealed the group had traveled from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Orlando to White Plains, N.Y. The cocaine recovered had a street value of up to $5 million, according to officials.
The six men are all facing charges of conspiracy and criminal possession of a controlled substance.