New York City courts were busy on Friday arraigning major narcotics violators. In Brooklyn, alleged Mexican cartel leader Tirso Martinez-Sanchez was being arraigned for bringing in tons of blow into the city and other spots in the nation. In Manhattan, two individuals were arraigned after being busted in the Bronx on Thursday with the most cocaine the feds have seized in the area in years. Residents of Puerto Rico, Mark Soto, 23, and Xavier Herbert-Gumbs, 24, have been formally charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance after being caught with 136 pounds of coke, said to be worth $3 million. Soto is a private in the US Army Reserves.
Both Soto and Herbert-Gumbs were pegged as members of members of a major narcotics trafficking network, during an ongoing investigation, according to NBC New York. The duo was arrested in separate traffic stops in the Bronx on Thursday:
Herbert-Gumbs possessed 110 pounds of cocaine, which was pressed into brick-shaped packages, authorities said. Soto was arrested a short time later with about 26 pounds of cocaine in the trunk of his vehicle, prosecutors said. Soto’s vehicle also contained an identification card with Herbert-Gumbs’ name and photograph, they said.
The cocaine reportedly made its way into NYC by way of Boston. According to ABC News, investigators searched an apartment on the block where Soto was knocked on Friday evening. The feds seized $6,000 in cash and “a U-Haul equipment contract in the name of ‘Mark Gomez,’ an alias they said Soto used.”
Bail for Soto and Herbert-Gumbs has been set at $400,000. “The sheer amount of cocaine seized in this case is staggering,” said New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan. “This is the largest seizure of cocaine being transported in the region that our office has handled in recent years.”