Police and federal agents arrested two Puerto Rican men and seized more than 136 pounds of cocaine in the Bronx on Thursday, according city drug prosecutors.
The busts began at 6:15 p.m. when Homeland Security and immigration agents and cops pulled over a car in Morris Park in which 24-year-old Xavier Herbert-Gumbs, of San Juan, was riding passenger, according to a detective's account. In the trunk, cops say they found a box containing 50 one-kilogram bricks of coke, some of them stamped Messi, in an apparent nod to Argentinian soccer player Lionel Messi.
Less than an hour later, narcotics investigators say the spotted 23-year-old Mark Soto, from the town of Rio Grande, getting out of a car in Kingsbridge. In the trunk, a detective claims he spotted a partially opened box that turned out to contain 12 more kilos of coke. A search warrant executed at an apartment above Tech International Charter School on that block of Corlear Avenue on Friday turned up a plastic bag with $6,000 cash inside, according to prosecutors.
Investigators believe the cocaine was transported from Massachusetts.
"The sheer amount of cocaine seized in this case is staggering," New York City's Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan told ABC News. "This is the largest seizure of cocaine being transported in the region that our office has handled in recent years."
Prosecutors claim that the drugs could be resold for as much as $3 million.
Herbert-Gumbs and Soto each face four felony drug possession charges that together could carry as many as 100 years in prison.