Authorities: 3 men arrested in $12M drug bust

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NEW YORK (AP) — Three men who authorities say stored $12 million worth of heroin and $500,000 in crystal meth inside hidden compartments within two New York City apartments have been arrested and charged, officials said Wednesday.

Thirty-six-year-old Pablo Paulino, Pedro Abreu, 55, and Janeison Garcia, 28, were arrested Monday after law enforcement agents raided the apartments in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, a spot designed to give the men easy access to the George Washington Bridge and, with it, travel throughout the region, authorities said.

The drugs were intended for distribution in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and other locations, according to authorities.

James Hunt, acting head of the DEA’s New York office, told Newsday the seizure was “a very significant hit.”

New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said in a statement $120,000 in cash was recovered from a safe in one of the apartments and, in the other apartment, authorities found a sophisticated counter-surveillance system that recorded activities in the building’s hallway.

In all, more than 70 pounds of drugs — much of it stored in compartments hidden behind medicine cabinets, walls and in TV stands — was recovered, authorities said.

The men were arraigned Tuesday night in Manhattan Criminal Court. Their lawyers couldn’t be reached for comment.

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Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com

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