MANHATTAN — A Colombian man was arraigned Monday morning on charges that he smuggled eight kilograms of heroin and cocaine to New York on a Spanish Navy training ship, officials said.
Jorge Luis Hoayeck, who was extradited to New York on Nov. 10, allegedly paid two midshipmen $32,000 to hide drugs on a four-masted schooner and smuggle them to the Bronx, officials from the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor said.
The schooner, which is nearly 90 years old, is viewed as a “floating embassy” for Spain, officials said. The midshipmen allegedly brought four kilograms of heroine and four kilograms of cocaine into Manhattan on May 14, 2014 after their ship docked on Manhattan’s West Side near the U.S.S. Intrepid.
Local traffickers allegedly met with the midshipmen and brought the drugs to the Bronx, officials said. Law enforcement officials followed the traffickers to the Bronx residence and then to another location in Connecticut where they made arrests and drug seizures on May 16.
The ring of smugglers allegedly communicated using coded language, officials said. The Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor is also expecting to successfully extradite Jorge Alberto Siado-Alvarez from Colombia in connection with the smuggling operation.
Hoayeck was charged with operating as a major trafficker, which carries a possible life sentence. He was also charged with conspiracy, criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance.