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Authorities Seize More Than 60 Pounds Of Drugs Stashed In Washington Heights Apartments

Trap behind medicine cabinet in Washington Heights apartment used for alleged drug trafficking operation. (credit: Officer of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor)

Trap behind medicine cabinet in Washington Heights apartment used for alleged drug trafficking operation. (credit: Officer of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Three men have been arrested and charged with allegedly running a sophisticated drug trafficking operation out of two Washington Heights apartments, authorities announced Wednesday.

As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, $12 million worth of heroin and $500,000 in crystal meth were concealed inside the apartments at 111 Wadsworth Avenue.

The 20 kilograms of heroin and 17 pounds of methamphetamine were hidden in a series of elaborate traps, according to the New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor.

Heroin found in TV stand of Washington Heights apartment used in alleged drug trafficking operation. (credit: Officer of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor)

Heroin found in TV stand of Washington Heights apartment used in alleged drug trafficking operation. (credit: Officer of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor)

One of the traps was built behind a medicine cabinet, another was inside of a tiled wall in a bathroom and a third was inside a kitchen cabinet – revealed only when the shelves were taken out, Cornell reported.

Hidden trap found in kitchen cabinet of Washington Heights apartment used for alleged drug trafficking operation. (credit: Officer of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor)

Hidden trap found in kitchen cabinet of Washington Heights apartment used for alleged drug trafficking operation. (credit: Officer of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor)

Several pairs of shoe soles were also found in one of the traps. According to prosecutors, international drug traffickers commonly use hollowed-out shoes to transport narcotics.

Soles of shoes in an apartment used in an alleged drug trafficking operation. (credit: Officer of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor)

Soles of shoes in an apartment used in an alleged drug trafficking operation. (credit: Officer of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor)

One of the apartments was set up with an elaborate counter-surveillance system, according to authorities. Two pinhole cameras were installed in the apartment’s door so that the alleged drug dealers inside could observe and record all activity in the hallway outside.

Counter-surveillance equipment inside apartment used in alleged drug trafficking operation. (credit: Officer of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor)

Counter-surveillance equipment inside apartment used in alleged drug trafficking operation. (credit: Officer of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor)

The drugs were intended for distribution in New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, according to narcotics prosecutors.

Pablo Paulino, Pedro Abreu and Janeison Garcia were arrested on Monday evening following several days of surveillance outside the apartment building. In addition to the drugs, numerous cellphones and drug ledgers were seized from the apartments.

They have each been charged with three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to officials.

The defendants were arraigned Tuesday night. Abreu and Paulino were ordered held without bail. Bail for Garcia was set at $250,000.

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