A police K-9 recently sniffed out more than 24 pounds of cocaine hidden behind a Bronx apartment’s bathroom vanity.
“Port Authority police K-9 Balu helped bust alleged trafficker Cesar Chavez, 51, and two others in the Bronx who possessed $125,000 in cash and the large quantity of cocaine worth about $600,000, city, state and federal authorities announced Wednesday,” according to the New York Post.
Chavez reportedly worked to secure large quantities of cocaine during a coronavirus pandemic-induced shortage, authorities said.
“As Port Authority police helped search the home, Balu led the agents to the bathroom, where most of the cocaine was found in a secret compartment behind the vanity and medicine cabinet,” the Post article read.
The Office of the Special Narcotics prosecutor filed an indictment charging Chavez with Operating as a Major Trafficker, according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
“The indictment also charges Cesar Chavez, Cristian Rodriguez, and Roberto Javier-Batista with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First and Third Degrees,” the DEA press release said, adding that the arrests took place on September 3.
The release continued:
The DEA has reported that COVID-19 travel restrictions and a decreased flow of narcotics entering New York City during the pandemic have resulted in inflated drug prices. Wholesale prices for cocaine have increased by up to 72% per kilogram, from $25,000 – $30,000 pre-pandemic to a current rate of approximately $48,000 per kilogram.
Following the discovery, DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan praised law enforcement for helping keep the community safe from illegal drug activity.
“As traffickers navigate COVID-impacted drug markets, their drug stashes are more valuable and their concealment methods more necessary, as evident in this investigation,” Donovan stated.
“I applaud our law enforcement partners on their diligent work and their efforts in safeguarding our nation from the perils of drug use and abuse,” he concluded.