News Release
June 16, 2008
Erin Mulvey
Public Information Officer
212 337-2906

Four Hundred Pounds of Cocaine Seized in Tractor Trailer

JUN 16 -- New York DEA Special Agent-In-Charge John P. Gilbride, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, New York State Police Superintendent Harry J. Corbitt and Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan announced the seizure of four hundred pounds of cocaine concealed in an elaborate steel lined compartment of a 16 wheeler tractor trailer from a parking lot in the Bronx. Four men were arrested and charged with transporting the narcotics into New York City.

Last Thursday, members of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force (NYDETF) seized the tractor trailer, which had just dropped off a load of cargo in Boston, and spent ten hours examining the trailer before locating the cocaine. An x-ray device, maintained by the Department of Homeland Security Border and Customs Patrol, finally revealed the elaborate compartment hiding the narcotics.

The NYDETF, comprised of officers from the DEA, NYPD, and NY State Police, worked with the New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor on the investigation. The street value of the cocaine is 16 million dollars.

The drug shipment, hauled by a 2005 Kenworth tractor trailer with California license plates, was concealed in steel band at the perimeter of the cargo floor at the base of the trailer, and covered with a metal sheath. The cocaine was packaged in kilograms and heavily wrapped in duck tape. Investigators believe that was done to avoid detection by drug sniffing dogs.

Investigators discovered that this tractor was intended for additional cross county trips, and believe that similar concealed compartments may be found in other tractor trailers used by the international drug organization.

The defendants are all charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree and Conspiracy in the Second Degree. They are scheduled to appear in court on Friday. If convicted of top counts, the defendants face sentences of 8 to 20 years.

Those arrested are:

Carlos Loveras, 43
131 Broome Street
New York NY

Armando Magallon, 39
907 South Cedar Street
Santa Ana, CA

Miguel Mejias, 33
94-65 Plattwood Avenue
Queens, NY

Antonio Rodriguez, 30
1317 West Farm Road
Bronx, NY