Three Bronx men, who escaped from police earlier this month were finally cuffed after law enforcement discovered enough cocaine to overwhelm Scarface along with $125,000 in cash during the raid of a Morris Heights apartment, the DEA announced on Wednesday.
Cesar Chavez, Cristian Rodriguez Chavez, and Roberto Javier-Batista were all brought up on possession charges while Cesar was also arrested for allegedly overseeing the narcotics trafficking operation that came out of apartment 1G at 1500 Popham Ave.
New York State police had been working alongside the DEA surveilling the residential west Bronx building in prior weeks. The location is where Cristian Rodriguez Chavez was frequently seen popping in and out of the apartment, sometimes carrying a bag, the agency reported.
Chavez was seen with Javier-Batista who was carrying a brick-shaped package wrapped in plastic leaving the address on Thursday, Sept. 3, then getting in a car that was driven by Cesar Chavez.
The state police stopped the car shortly after, but Javier-Batista managed to escape on foot as Chavez peeled out, evading the pursuing officers, according to the DEA.
Later that night, both Chavez’s were seen in a car outside of 1500 Popham Ave., met by Javier-Batista shortly after while still carrying the brick from earlier that day.
The state police again stopped the car as Javier-Batista was seen trying to push the package beneath the driver’s seat, but this time he was caught by authorities.
After tests confirmed the package was a kilogram of cocaine and a set of keys to apartment 1G was found on Cesar Chavez, police discovered the drug operation existing in the two bedroom apartment.
It was there that authorities discovered half a kilogram of cocaine beneath a living room chair alongside the pile of cash tucked into a backpack found inside one of the two bedrooms.
Then K9 units sniffed out a wall behind the bathroom’s medicine cabinet where the remaining drugs and money that made up the total $125,000 was found with a dragon label, pill pressing machine along with about 100 pills.
Photos courtesy of the DEA
“The conduct charged in this case is brazen. The defendants’ alleged cocaine business flourished as the Bronx and the rest of New York City struggled with devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said as the DEA estimated the cocaine’s street value to be nearing $600,000.
“The recovery of $125,000 in cash and cocaine worth more than a half million dollars from an apartment in Morris Heights will put a dent in their high level trafficking operation.”