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30 lbs of coke, $3 million found hidden in NYC man’s home: Cops

composite photo ofmoney stuffed in secret compartments in bronx man's furniture
Drugs and money were found in a Bronx drug den, officials said.

A Bronx man had $3 million in cash and 30 pounds of cocaine stuffed in his furniture, authorities said.

Investigators who went to the Norwood home of Juan Rondon, who is from the Dominican Republic, allegedly found 12 kilos of the drug and wads of cash hidden in secret compartments throughout the nondescript apartment, DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino said.

Juan Rondon was arrested after cops found 30 pounds of cocaine and $3 million hidden in secret compartments in the furniture in the 60-year-old’s Bronx apartment, authorities said. DEA
Juan Rondon was arrested after cops found 30 pounds of cocaine and $3 million hidden in secret compartments in the furniture in the 60-year-old’s Bronx apartment, authorities said. DEA
Wads of cash and bags of drugs were found in secret compartments in furniture, officials said. Special Narcotics Prosecutor
Wads of cash and bags of drugs were found in secret compartments in furniture, officials said. Special Narcotics Prosecutor

“A multi-million-dollar drug den looked like any ordinary apartment until our agents and investigators uncovered hidden compartments in various pieces of furniture filled with contraband,” he said.

Rondon, 60, was arrested around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday after he was allegedly seen entering 3405 Gates Place carrying a bag, and then exiting with the same bag a short time later.

He later returned to the building empty handed.

When drug agents stopped him, he allegedly possessed cocaine and the keys to Apartment 2A, officials said.

When they searched the apartment with help from a New York State Police K9 Unit, they discovered several pieces of furniture were outfitted with secret trap compartments, officials said.

Over 26 pounds of cocaine and $3 million cash was recovered in a Bronx drug den, officials said. Special Narcotics Prosecutor
Over 26 pounds of cocaine and $3 million cash was recovered in a Bronx drug den, officials said. Special Narcotics Prosecutor

“Dressers, nightstands, and a coffee table contained large hidden compartments stuffed with bags of cash,” officials said in a statement. “Money was wrapped in bundles and labeled with dates spanning the past several years.”

They also found at least 10 luxury watches, by makers such as Rolex and Cartier, in a hidden trap in a nightstand, officials said.

Despite the large amounts of money, narcotics, and jewelry, the apartment appeared to lack security equipment or fortifications, officials said.

Rondon, who was previously deported in 2006 for unknown reasons, was charged with operating as a major trafficker and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees, officials said.

Rondon was held without bail and sent to Rikers Island.

Drugs and money were concealed in furniture outfitted with secret trap compartments, according to the NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan’s office. Special Narcotics Prosecutor
Drugs and money were concealed in furniture outfitted with secret trap compartments, according to the NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan’s office. Special Narcotics Prosecutor
Drugs and money found in hidden compartments in a Bronx apartment, officials said. Special Narcotics Prosecutor
Drugs and money found in hidden compartments in a Bronx apartment, officials said. Special Narcotics Prosecutor

He has prior drug arrests, a law enforcement source said. Rondon’s court appointed attorney didn’t immediately answer a call seeking comment.

“Over a span of years, an accused major trafficker apparently squirreled away more than $3 million, filling secret compartments inside furniture to the brim with bundles of cash wrapped together in rubber bands, expensive watches, and kilograms of cocaine,” NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said.  “An absence of special security equipment or fortified locks on the nondescript apartment suggests misguided confidence.”

The New York State Police and the NYPD were also part of the investigation.

“These charges reflect New York City’s latest multiagency effort to hold accountable those allegedly responsible for flooding our neighborhoods with illicit drugs,” Police Commissioner Edward Caban said.