Over One Ton of Cocaine Destined for the Northeast Seized
Three Defendants Indicted for Narcotics Conspiracy
NEW YORK CITY – Ray Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Thomas A. Gleason, Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety announced that Jorge Aponte-Guzman, Nelson Agramonte-Minaya, and Carlos Maisonet-Lopez were indicted yesterday for their participation in a drug trafficking conspiracy. The defendants were arrested on September 29, 2021, and were presented before United States Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein on September 30, in the cases of Agramonte-Minaya and Maisonet-Lopez, and on October 1, in the case of Aponte-Guzman. The case is assigned to United States District Judge Alison J. Nathan.
“A multi-million dollar storm of cocaine was seized before it could wreak havoc in the Northeast,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Donovan. “Over one ton of cocaine was seized, making it the largest cocaine seizure destined for the streets of New York in over a decade. This seizure signifies a shift in the illegal drug landscape in New York with cocaine seizures rising more than 150% in the last year. DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to guard against drug trafficking organizations’ tactics and techniques to smuggle drugs into our country.”
“This investigation has yielded the seizure of approximately 920 kilograms of cocaine, disrupting an alleged narcotics trafficking organization,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “Thanks to our partners at the DEA, this massive quantity of dangerous drugs has been kept off the streets.”
“A seizure of this magnitude underscores the critical importance of working together with our federal and local law enforcement partners in the DEA Westchester Task Force,” said Commissioner Gleason. “The tremendous work and dedication of the DEA and Task Force Investigators has interrupted a major drug distribution operation and prevented approximately one ton of dangerous, illegal narcotics from being distributed on the streets of our area.”
According to the allegations in the indictment unsealed yesterday in Manhattan federal court and in other public court documents :
On or about September 29, 2021, Aponte-Guzman traveled in a rental van from a loading dock in New Jersey to the area of a New Jersey residence, where he was met by Maisonet-Lopez and Agramonte-Minaya. Inside the rental van driven by Aponte-Guzman, law enforcement seized approximately 460 kilograms of cocaine that were packaged inside 10 large metal lawn rollers. Records relating to the shipment of the lawn rollers indicate that the lawn rollers were shipped from Puerto Rico to New Jersey, with a consignee in the Bronx, New York.
The next day, on or about September 30, 2021, DEA agents seized a substantially similar shipment of 10 large metal lawn rollers from the loading dock that Aponte-Guzman had visited the day before. In that second shipment, agents found an additional approximately 460 kilograms of cocaine.
Aponte-Guzman, 33, Agramonte-Minaya 37, and Maisonet-Lopez, 32, are charged with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants would be determined by the assigned judge.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York Division of the DEA, Westchester County Department of Public Safety, and the Mt. Vernon Police Department. Mr. Williams also thanked the Westchester Resident Office of the DEA, the Port Authority Police Department, the New Rochelle Police Department, the Portchester Police Department, the White Plains Police Department, and the Yonkers Police Department for their assistance in the investigation.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin Mead and Samuel P. Rothschild are in charge of the prosecution.
 As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the indictment and other assertions in public court documents, and the descriptions of those documents set forth in this release, constitute allegations only, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.