Jackson Heights drug den busted

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Over 18 pounds of cocaine was uncovered from a Jackson Heights drug den, located on 81st Street.Photo courtesy of the New York State Police
Over 18 pounds of cocaine was uncovered from a Jackson Heights drug den, located on 81st Street.

The drug-dealing doings of two thugs were blown when officials sniffed out the pair’s operation, uncovering 18 pounds of cocaine from their Jackson Heights stash house.

According to the office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor (SNP), Wilmar Florez-Jimenez, 30, of Queens and Alvaro Montoya, 51, of Elizabeth, New Jersey were arrested on May 14 and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees and criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree. The duo was arraigned on Monday, June 4 in Manhattan Supreme Court.

For two weeks, the 81st Street den had been under surveillance by investigators from the New York State Police (NYSP) Special Investigations Unit when they witnessed Montoya lugging a large, plastic garbage bag from the building and loading it into a red Chevy Envoy SUV before taking off.

Investigators stopped and searched Montoya’s vehicle. Inside the garbage bag, officials found a tire rim with the side wall sliced and the tread disconnected. Small towels and plastic tie wraps lined the underside of the tread. According to the SNP, the authorities had previously seen similar practices used as a means to conceal a large amount of narcotics.

Authorities then halted Florez-Jimenez as he exited the 81st Street lair, recovering a small amount of cocaine on him, as well as keys to the ground-level apartment.

After obtaining a search warrant, agents investigated the residence, seizing over eight kilograms – equal to 18 pounds – of cocaine, nearly $70,000 in cash and various drug-packaging paraphernalia, including diluting solution, a digital scale, a steel press, grinders and razors. Most of the cocaine was found hidden in a custom-built trap door inside a dresser and in the oven.

Detectives obtained Florez-Jimenez’s financial records, computer equipment and several cell phones. Subsequently, on May 16, upon conducting a second search of the captured Chevy, investigators discovered half a pound of cocaine, concealed under the truck’s previously folded down third seat.

According to the SNP, Florez-Jimenze was held on $250,000 bond, $100,000 cash and Montoya was held on a $30,000 bond, $15,000 cash as well as $30,000 bond for a separate indictment regarding the drugs later uncovered in the car.

Multiple calls to reach the defendants’ lawyers went unanswered as of press time.