Bronx Drug Bust Leads To Arrest of Major Trafficker

Bronx Times

Maeve Bidonde, Staff Writer

Last month, investigators seized over 26 pounds of cocaine and $3 million dollars from a Bronx apartment in Norwood. According to ABC 7 NY News, “The coffee table allegedly contained approximately 12 kilograms of cocaine and some of the cash. At least ten luxury watches, including those made by Rolex and Cartier, were recovered from a hidden trap in a nightstand.” 

The drug bust was part of a two-month-long investigation into a major drug distributor operating in Norwood. The suspect arrested is 60-year-old Juan Rondon, who’s currently being held without bail. According to the documents provided for charging Rondon, he has prior drug arrests and was previously deported from the U.S. in 2006. The money found was labeled with dates spanning several years back.

Rondon now faces charges as operating as a major trafficker and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees. Following his arrest, Rondon was sent to Rikers Island. The New York Post met and interviewed NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan about the conflicts surrounding drug smuggling and trafficking. “‘Over a span of years, an accused major trafficker apparently squirreled away more than $3 million. Filling secret compartments inside furniture to the brim with bundles of cash wrapped together in rubber bands, expensive watches, and kilograms of cocaine,’’’ Brennan said. “‘An absence of special security equipment or fortified locks on the nondescript apartment suggests misguided confidence.’” 

Following their leads, police watched Rondon exit the apartment before stopping him. From the encounter, they discovered the cocaine and the keys to the apartment in his possession. Once they were inside, the police searched and found drugs, money, jewelry, and other expensive things in Rondon’s apartment. Rondon’s arraignment happened not long after, he’s set to be held on trial. Multiple news outlets have reached out to Rondon’s court appointed attorney for a comment but haven’t heard back from them.

This arrest has become one of many other drug busts in the city as part of a campaign to cut down on drug trafficking and the violence associated with it. Recently, over 100 pounds of multiple controlled substances were seized from a pizzeria in the Bronx. “As part of an ongoing investigation into drug trafficking in New York City, federal, state and local law enforcement officers recovered over 100 pounds of suspected cocaine, crack cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, and oxycodone carrying an estimated street value of $4 million, from a pizzeria in the Bronx last week. This seizure occurred at Mexzzarella Pizza in the Soundview section of the Bronx,” as according to DEA.

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