$14 million worth of heroin seized from pick-up truck in Jackson Heights

Photos courtesy of Special Narcotics Prosecutor

Two men were busted Tuesday for carrying 100 pounds of heroin worth $14 million in a silver pick-up truck as part of an ongoing drug investigation, authorities said.

Guatemalan natives Peter Omar Garcia-Romero, a North Carolina resident, and Jose Guadencio Lantan-Vela, who entered the U.S. on a travel visa on Jan. 15, were caught with the drugs near the intersection of Northern Boulevard and 84th Street yesterday evening.

DEA special agents, NYPD detectives and New York State Police investigators were conducting surveillance in the area as part of an ongoing investigation into heroin distribution organizations. At about 8 p.m. on Tuesday, authorities observed a blue pick-up truck and silver pick-up truck towing a hitch trailer circling the block several times.

Both vehicles had North Carolina license plates and one vehicle was unregistered, authorities said. At 8:45 p.m., officials said they stopped the cars and identified themselves. A trained search dog alerted officials to the presence of drugs in the silver pick-up truck and the vehicles were taken to the DEA’s Manhattan headquarters where a New York State Search Warrant was executed on both vehicles.

During the search, authorities found heroin concealed within a car axle casing that was in the bed of the silver pick-up truck. They then dissembled the axle into three parts and the heroin was found in the axle and the drive shaft casings. The heroin was pressed into round shapes to fit in the axle casing and packaged in square shapes to fit in the drive shaft, officials said.

The charges and allegations are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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