Feds charge 4 men with trafficking nearly 5 tons of cocaine hidden in hollow furniture

NEW YORK — Four men have been charged with trafficking nearly 10,000 pounds of cocaine from Puerto Rico to at least four continental U.S. states by concealing the narcotics in hollowed-out furniture, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has confirmed.

The DEA estimated the street value of the trafficked cocaine to be roughly $144 million.

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The superseding indictment, unsealed Thursday in Manhattan, charged Pedro “Peter” Guzman Martinez, Abel “Coche Bomba” Montilla, Jorge “Chinito” Miranda-Sang and Luis “Kiké” Gomez Ortiz with participating in the 10-month narcotics trafficking organization that sold and distributed the cocaine in New York, Massachusetts, Florida and Connecticut, the DEA stated in a news release.

Montilla, 48, of Springfield, Massachusetts, and Guzman Martinez, 47, Miranda-Sang, 42, and Gomez Ortiz, 29, all of Puerto Rico, are charged with one count each of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, the DEA confirmed.

According to the indictment, the quartet participated in the scheme between September 2018 and June 2019, during which time they arranged for the shipment of roughly 70 large parcels from Puerto Rico. The shipments were manifested as furniture, but the individual pieces were hollowed out to conceal 100-kilogram quantities of cocaine.

Charging documents accused Guzman Martinez of facilitating the furniture shipments from Puerto Rico, while Miranda-Sang and Gomez Ortiz are accused of identifying and hiring individuals to receive, unpack and distribute the cocaine to other stateside trafficking organization members, and to dispose of the packaging materials to evade detection.

Meanwhile, Montilla is accused of coordinating delivery of cocaine shipments, the DEA stated.

“This nearly three-year investigation has dismantled an international drug trafficking organization that allegedly has been shipping thousands of kilograms of cocaine, ultimately destined for our communities,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan stated.