25 pounds of cocaine, $350K in cash seized in Bronx drug raid

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Three men were busted in a Bronx apartment drug raid that turned up 25 pounds of cocaine, $350,000 in cash, a loaded handgun and an assault rifle, authorities said.

The suspects transported the narcotics from Puerto Rico to New York City in Swiffer pad boxes, then peddled the drugs in the Morris Park neighborhood of the Bronx, said the city’s Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor.

Suspect Jose Velez, 40, is alleged to have overseen the distribution operation out of his two-story home on Hone Ave. near Pierce Ave. He was charged with drug trafficking, drug possession and weapons possession.

Velez was also charged with child endangerment after investigators found a 15-year-old and 16-year-old in the home. He was held on $250,000 cash bail at his Manhattan Criminal Court arraignment Wednesday night.

Suspects Jordan Worthley, 29, of Hackensack, and Melina Masullo, 27, of Manhattan, were both charged with drug possession. Both suspects were awaiting arraignment Thursday.

A joint federal-city task force was surveilling Velez on June 7 when they saw him leave his Bronx home and get into a Honda Pilot with a shopping bag. He drove two blocks, then ditched the Honda and put the bag in a parked Mercedes-Benz, prosecutors said.

Authorities swept in and stopped the Mercedes in the drive-thru lane of a McDonald’s near Williamsbridge Road and Silver St. Massullo was alone in the car. The shopping bag had two kilograms of cocaine inside, said prosecutors.

Later that afternoon, Worthley pulled up to the Hone Ave. residence in a 2017 BMW. He went inside for about 20 minutes, then came out of the building and spoke with Velez. Investigators swooped in and searched the two men, their cars and the home.

Five kilos of the cocaine were found in an orange plastic bag in the bedroom. The assault rifle was wrapped in a sheet and the pistol was in a dresser drawer. The cash was hidden in multiple bags in a bedroom closet, prosecutors said.

On Tuesday around 6 a.m., investigators searched the BMW and found two cardboard boxes from Puerto Rico, each with a kilo of coke inside a Swiffer Wet Mopping Cloths box. Snack packages surrounded the Swiffer boxes.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan praised the arrests.

“The court authorized search of this apartment very likely prevented gun violence, which has plagued our city, and especially the Bronx,” said Brennan. “High-level drug trafficking extracts a tragic toll from our communities in violence and lives lost to substance use.”

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