Canadian man charged with smuggling cocaine into WNY
Law enforcers in Erie and Niagara Counties say they've arrested a Vancouver, British Columbia man who, according to their intelligence, has been smuggling drugs into the United States by entering Western New York.
The suspect, identified as 40-year-old Carlos Perez, was arrested in Niagara Falls early Wednesday evening. Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard says investigators gathered intelligence suggesting his involvement in drug trafficking.
"As the result of that intel, a search warrant was obtained yesterday by (New York State) Supreme Court Judge Tim Drury," Howard said. "The vehicle was located last night in the City of Niagara Falls."
That vehicle was brought to the Erie County Sheriff's forensic garage in Buffalo. Investigators say upon further inspection, they found 10 kilograms of cocaine stashed in a compartment designed for smuggling. The street value of the cocaine was estimated at around $500,000.
James Spero, Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Buffalo, says it's a significant development in a larger ongoing joint investigation.
"Within a relatively short period of time we were able to seize four weapons, almost a hundred pounds of marijuana, over three ounces of methamphetamine, $10,000 in cash and 10 kilograms of cocaine," Spero said.