Cocaine in lunchboxes smuggled from Puerto Rico to New York

Local News

(Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York)

NEW YORK —Investigators found cocaine inside a unicorn and rainbow lunchbox.

In total, investigators intercepted more than 66 pounds of cocaine hidden inside lunchboxes and school binders, according to the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York. The cocaine was smuggled from Puerto Rico to New York and Massachusetts via the U.S. Postal Service.

From May of 2020 until July of 2021, Carlos Duarte and Alexis Garcia — both managers representing recording artists in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic — allegedly shipped numerous packages of cocaine, officials said.

Duarte was arrested at his Yonkers home and Garcia was taken into custody in front of a Yonkers recording studio. The pair hid behind their music industry jobs, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

Police also arrested several others in the scheme.

The organization “capitalized during COVID by using mail services,” United States Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan said.

The use of kid-branded items to hide drugs is “pathetic,” Inspector in Charge Philip R. Bartlett said.

“Make no mistake, law enforcement will spare no resource to bring them to justice for their crimes in an effort to maintain the safety of the communities we serve,” Bartlett said.

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