Three Charged with Narcotics Trafficking and $13 Million Worth of Cocaine Seized
August 2, 2012
Three individuals, Eduardo Andino, Omar Aponte and Wilfredo Aquino have been charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance in connection with the seizure of approximately 350 kilograms of cocaine. The wholesale value of the cocaine is more than $13,000,000.
On August 1, 2012, law enforcement officers including a Waterfront Commission detective were conducting surveillance in Bayonne, New Jersey. During their surveillance, they observed two cocaine transactions, both of which involved a warehouse in Bayonne. In the first transaction, Aquino’s car was driven to the warehouse while he waited nearby. When his car was returned and he got back inside, Aquino was stopped by law enforcement officers who found cocaine in his car. In the second transaction, Andino drove a minivan away from the warehouse. A few blocks away, the minivan was observed near a Cadillac Escalade. The hatch of the Escalade was open and there were two men near the open hatch. Law enforcement officers stopped the minivan which was driven by Andino and the Escalade which was driven by Aponte. Cocaine was found inside the Escalade.
A search of the warehouse and Aponte and Aquino’s cars led to the seizure of 351 brick-shaped packages. In the warehouse, some of the packages were concealed in shipping palettes that contained bamboo flooring. Each of the brick-shaped packages contained approximately 1 kilogram of cocaine.
The defendants face a maximum of life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10 million. The three defendants appeared before Magistrate Ronald Ellis and were detained without bail. The matter is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.