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Fake Jewelry Business Hid $2M Worth of Cocaine, Police Say

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Authorities seized 121 pounds of the drug.

Police seized $2 million worth of cocaine from what they said was a fake jewelry business in New York’s Diamond District.

Junior Lopez-Pena, 26, of Haverstraw, NY, has been arrested and faces charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees, according to a press release from New York’s Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor.

Authorities seized 121 pounds of cocaine from 21 Divine, a “fictitious jewelry business” operating in two suites at 43 W. 47th St. in Manhattan, according to the release.

Police said the drugs came from another “fictitious” jewelry business in Los Angeles called Sapphire.

Lopez-Pena was arrested as he attempted to exit the Divine 21 location after the delivery of three packages that investigators had deemed suspicious, according to the release. A New York Drug Enforcement Task Force group worked with the DEA Los Angeles Field Division on the case.

Lopez-Pena was in possession of keys to one of the suites, authorities said.

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“This brazen trafficking scheme involved the delivery of 55 kilograms of cocaine to a bustling commercial center in Midtown Manhattan during broad daylight,” said Bridget G. Brennan, special narcotics prosecutor for New York. “By disrupting the supply chain and seizing $2 million in narcotics we undoubtedly saved lives.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt said the cocain find “sets off alarms here in New York that Mexican drug trafficking organizations have increased efforts to funnel cocaine to New Yorkers.”

“Over the past two years, Colombian cocaine cultivation has dramatically increased, reaching record levels of production,” Hunt said. “New York drug law enforcement is on the forefront in shutting down traffickers’ efforts by seizing their loads and making arrests.”

Read the full press release

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