JERSEY CITY, N.J. (1010 WINS) — A 16-month long investigation has netted 18 arrests in an international drug smuggling ring that officials said was nearly impossible to detect.

Hudson County Prosecutor Edward De Fazio said the suspects did trial runs and deliveries from Peru to the United States over several months to perfect their transportation method.

READ MORE: Storm Watch: Officials Hoping To Avoid Repeat Of Ida With Preparations For Nor'easter

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: De Fazio says it was a highly scientific operation 

The suspects apparently masked the cocaine in bottles of lotion making it easy to store in luggage and get past airport security. The drug would later be converted back into powder and sold on the streets, officials said.

READ MORE: NYPD: Man Shot Inside Union Square Subway Station

“It’s a scientific process, obviously, that is not familiar to us,” De Fazio said. “It is a very unique situation.

Investigators seized over two kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of $150,000, a loaded handgun and $30,000 in cash.

MORE NEWS: Exclusive: CBS2 Cameras On Hand At Unannounced Security Screenings At Troubled New York City High Schools

De Fazio said the alleged operation ran out of Hudson and Essex counties.