Federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency seized 35 kilograms of cocaine, fentanyl and meth worth nearly $3 million during a successful undercover sting, Manhattan federal court prosecutors said Thursday.
A DEA agent who’d been investigating a narcotics operation in the Bronx for two years tracked a tapped cell phone from the Bronx to a hotel in Somerset, New Jersey, on Tuesday and found Marco Segovia-Landa on the visitor’s ledger, a criminal complaint states.
Agents monitoring the location then saw Alicia Nichols come to the hotel parking lot, park in a secluded area, and saw Segovia-Landa and Nichols opening and closing their car door and trunk, respectively, according to court papers.
The agents followed Nichols out of the lot until she pulled over at a gas station where they asked to search her car, leading investigators to a bag that had 7 kilos of cocaine and 7 kilos of meth, prosecutors allege.
Nichols claimed she was just a middle-man and had been instructed to pick up the drugs and drive them back to a location in The Bronx for cash, the complaint states.
Agents then went back to the hotel and found a large sum of cash, 8 kilos of fentanyl and 13 kilos of cocaine in Segovia-Landa’s room stashed in a suitcase and a cardboard box, prosecutors allege.
He almost immediately flipped and agreed to cooperate with the agents and help them set up an undercover bust of the people who were coming to pick up the drugs, Ledif Perez-Perez, Lisandy Joaquin Ortiz and Jose Rivera, the complaint states.
The drug buyers called, and Segovia-Landa gave a fake description of himself that matched an undercover agent, who gave the three men the drugs when they got there, leading to their arrest.
A DEA spokesperson said the drugs seized are worth about $750,000 wholesale, and about $2.5 million on the street.