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Press Release | NO. 2004-082

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Press Release # 082
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly And Queens County District Attorney Richard A. Brown Announce One Arrest And The Seizure Of More Than 459 Kilograms Of Cocaine In Queens

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and Queens County District Attorney Richard A. Brown today announced the culmination of a 6-month investigation into a cocaine storage and distribution ring in the Maspeth section of Queens. In addition to making one arrest, members of the Queens North Narcotics Bureau seized 459 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of 75 million dollars.

Mayor Bloomberg said: "It's fitting that on a day we honor hero Police Officers, we can announce that some outstanding police work has resulted in the biggest drug bust in two years. Last night, Queens Narcotics seized 459 kilos of cocaine in a Queens' warehouse. That's more that $10 million worth when sold by the kilo and about $75 million when reduced for crack sales. This tremendous amount of cocaine won't make it to the street."

Police Commissioner Kelly said: "This seizure represents a huge hit to the underground narcotics economy. Every vial of crack or bag of heroin that is removed from the street is vital in our battle against drugs. Today's haul multiplies those amounts hundreds of times over and we consider this a major victory."

District Attorney Brown said: "Last night's seizure should serve as a warning to both drug dealers and violent criminals alike that the law enforcement community * in spite of the diversion of substantial portions of its resources to prevent terrorism and to protect our City * will continue to aggressively track them down and seek to put them in jail for long periods of time."

This investigation began in January 2004 with the identification of Columbian nationals operating a drug ring in and around the Maspeth section of Queens. This group concentrated on the importing of cocaine and heroin and distributing the drugs throughout the borough of Queens. Detectives focused their investigation on three locations * two in the 110th Precinct and a third in the 104th.

As the investigation matured, officers on the case began to realize the scale of the operation. Through physical surveillance, investigators learned the group's patterns and identified the movement of large amount of illegal narcotics. The arrest and seizure was timed to retrieve a maximize surplus of drugs.

In addition to the arrest and cocaine, officers retrieved two guns: a 9mm Glock handgun and an EA-15 assault rifle. Both weapons were loaded.

Officers arrested Ivan Molano and he is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and money laundering. This investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

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