After weeks of keeping surveillance on a house in Jackson Heights, Queens, law enforcement officials announced today they found more than 18 pounds of cocaine hidden in the home.
New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Bridget Brennan, along with the state police, seized more than eight kilograms from the home, as well as nearly $70,000 in cash.
The bulk of the drugs were found hidden in the oven, as well as stuffed inside a dresser outfitted with a secret compartment, said police.
State police investigators were keeping watch on a building at 81st Street when, on May 14, they observed a man there, Alvaro Montoya, haul a large plastic garbage bag out of the building. He placed it in a red Chevy SUV and drove off.
Investigators followed Montoya, 51, and searched his vehicle, and they found evidence of cocaine hidden there, they said.
Shortly after that, police stopped Wilmar Florez-Jimenez, 30, coming out of the same address.
They recovered a small quantity of cocaine from him, as well as keys to a ground-level apartment at the home. Investigators searched the apartment and found over six kilograms of cocaine hidden inside a specially designed dresser that had a false back.
The search uncovered another two kilograms of coke inside an oven and $68,000 in cash in the bedroom, police said.
Cops said they also found drug packaging equipment scattered throughout the apartment, including substances used to dilute the cocaine, a digital scale, baggies, knives and razors.
Both men have been charged and were scheduled to be arraigned today in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Cocaine hidden in tires
After they searched Montoya's Chevy, police said they found a garbage bag with a portion of a tire inside. Inside the tire, small towels and plastic tie wraps were glued to the underside of the tread, leading police to suspect that's where kilos of coke had been secured to the tire.
Police said they were familiar with the practice of hiding large quantities of cocaine inside tires, covered and concealed with towels.
On May 16 investigators returned again to the car for a more thorough search. The third seat at the rear of the vehicle had been folded down and approximately half a pound of cocaine was hidden underneath, they said.