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2 Tons of Pure Cocaine Seized; 10 Men Arrested

From Associated Press

Federal officials on Monday exhibited bales of cocaine stacked like cordwood and announced a bust that netted 4,822 pounds of cocaine, which they said would have been worth $500 million on the street.

Eleven people in Massachusetts and Florida were charged, and 10 arrested, in the third major cocaine bust in the Boston area since June.

U.S. Atty. Wayne Budd said the cocaine, which federal undercover agents had seized on Aug. 7, was in “pure, uncut form.” Investigators also seized $450,000 in cash, $173,750 in checks and five vehicles.

Four men named in the initial indictment could, if convicted, face life in prison and be fined up to $4 million each, Budd said.

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Two of the defendants--Marcos A. Garzon, 32, of Bogota, Colombia, and Marco A. Gomez, 32, of Miami--were arrested Saturday in Wakefield, Mass. At the same time, Climaco A. Pedraza, 48, was arrested at his Miami home.

Garzon and Gomez were arrested after they allegedly passed money to a federal agent and an informant.

Arrested with Garzon and Gomez were Aurelio Sanchez-Garcia, 45, of Cali, Colombia; Juan J. Restrepo, 31, of Attleboro, Mass. and Jaime Martinez, 38, of New York. They were charged with conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.

Wilgen Cortes, 27, and Fernando C. Perez, 57, both of New York, were arrested in Wakefield. Jorge Herrera, 37, of Woodhaven, N. Y., and Jorge Viveros, 30, of Miami, were picked up near a Wakefield hotel.

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Those four were also charged with conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.

Authorities said that one other suspect, Robert Reister, was still at large.


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