NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Six people are facing charges Thursday for allegedly running a multi-state drug trafficking ring out of an Upper West Side apartment.
Federal prosecutors released photos of cocaine and $60,000 in cash they say was in the apartment of Gerardo Gonzalez at 83rd Street and Columbus Avenue.
Another $180,000 was found in a duffel bag with a man accused of laundering money for the ring.
In total, authorities say they recovered several kilos of cocaine and nearly $270,000 in cash during their investigation.
Authorities said that Gonzalez seemed to be aware he was under surveillance back in January but persisted with drug dealing anyway until his arrest in March.
Four other people are charged with dealing the drugs in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. They are Eric Espinal of the Bronx, Socrates Santana of the Upper West Side, Vance Hall of Pittsburgh, Jose Martinez of Jersey City and allegedly money launderer Xiongbin Zhao of Brooklyn.
“As this case demonstrates, no neighborhood is too sedate for drug traffickers. After his mother passed away, Gerardo Gonzalez is alleged to have seized the opportunity to turn her Upper West Side apartment into the operational base for a multistate ring selling shipments of cocaine worth hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan. “As we have seen before, a familiar, quiet residential neighborhood is attractive real estate to a drug dealer who wants to lay low, avoid detection by law enforcement and escape the notice of stick up crews who might view him as an easy mark for robbery.”