There was a lot of snow in Times Square this October, but unless you were a part of a Special Narcotics team, you wouldn’t have even known.
The Narc team seized a whopping 48 kilos of cocaine, which were being transported in suitcases that blended in with all of the tourists’ luggage in the sprawling neon sign-flooded metropolis.
The cops used surveillance posts to distinguish the there rolling suitcases from the rest of the luggage rolling out of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in order to bust the six accused coke traffickers who utilized the tourist destination as their hub for cocaine distribution.
The drugs, seized on October 25th, totaled 48 kilos and would have been worth $5 million on the street, officials estimated.
According to Bridget Brennan, the city’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, and Joseph D’Amico, Superintendent of the state police, the six alleged traffickers have been indicted on conspiracy and drug possession charges.
Fernando Alvarado, 23, of The Bronx, left the hotel with a suitcase — which contained 30 pounds of coke — and placed it in the trunk of a waiting silver BMW, officials said.
Alvarado jumped into the passenger seat and the car sped off north, only to be stopped near the intersection of 50th Street and Sixth Avenue.
Alvarado and the driver, Gerinerdo Hernandez, 34, of The Bronx, were busted on the spot.
Shortly after, a second man left the hotel, Luis Cuevas-Muniz, 25, of Puerto Rico, also carrying a suitcase, this one boasting eight pounds of cocaine.
Cuevas-Muniz jumped into a waiting livery cab with his suitcase and rode for a single block before he got out again, leaving eight pounds of coke in the cab.
Cuevas-Muniz then went back into the hotel, and was next seen back inside the hotel concourse with a third suitcase, this one holding a whopping 66 pounds of coke, cops said.
Investigators grabbed two NYPD officers who proceeded to arrest Cuevas-Muniz.
The livery driver, Roberto Alvarez, 37, of The Bronx, was pulled over and arrested by 57th Street.
Back at the Crowne Plaza, more state cops also stormed the hotel room where the alleged traffickers had been staying and arrested two more defendants from inside the room: Kaleb Altiery-Vazquez, 23, of Winston Salem, NC, and Juan Alverio-Ruiz, 50, of Tao Baja.
State cops recovered plane tickets, cell phones, and plastic wrapping used to cover the cocaine in the hotel room.
Four of the defendants, including Cuevas-Muniz, pleaded not guilty today before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon, who ordered they be held without bail and set Dec. 17 as their next appearance date.
James Gilbert | Elite.