CBP seizes cocaine found in container in Parsippany, N.J.
A drug bust in New Jersey last week was the result of an investigation that netted more than 860 pounds of cocaine that was hidden in an ocean-shipping container filled with spices from the Dominican Republic.
Federal and local law enforcement participated in the arrest of two suspects who were attempting to unload the narcotics from hidden compartments in the container as it was stored at a warehouse behind a residence on New Street in Parsippany, N.J.
Franklin Franco, 36, and Oswaldo Patricio Contreras-Pugo, 31, both New York City residents, were arrested and charged with possession with the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance. They appeared Monday in U.S. District Court, in Newark, N.J. before U.S. Magistrate Patty Schwartz and were held without bail.
The cocaine, concealed within a shipment of spices, and estimated to have a street value in excess of $12 million, entered the United States through the Philadelphia seaport on March 8.
Customs and Border Protection officers conducting a routine examination discovered the contraband hidden inside the walls of the container. They replaced the drugs with dummies.
The spices were delivered to the Bronx, and the suspects did not attempt to remove the drugs until last week.
The arrests were the result of an investigative operation that involved Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Philadelphia, New York, and Newark, as well as officials from Drug Enforcement Agency and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office.