Man Stashed 68 Pounds of Cocaine and $1.6M Near Horace Mann: DEA

By Dana Varinsky on October 23, 2013 4:46pm 

 DEA agents found over 68 pounds of cocaine in Rojas' apartment, as well as $1.6 million in cash and two loaded semi-automatic pistols.
DEA agents found over 68 pounds of cocaine in Rojas' apartment, as well as $1.6 million in cash and two loaded semi-automatic pistols.
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Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor

FIELDSTON — A Bronx man allegedly ran a massive drug trafficking ring out of an apartment next to top private school Horace Mann, officials said.

Juan Rojas, 30, was indicted Wednesday after Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested him last month inside 244 Fieldston Terrace, where they found more than 68 pounds of cocaine, $1.6 million in cash and a pair of loaded semi-automatic weapons, officials said.

Rojas has been held without bail since his arrest Sept. 26 on charges of drug and weapons possession.

The stash of cocaine was hidden inside the apartment's bedroom closet, wrapped in cellophane and partially covered in grease, which DEA spokeswoman Erin Mulvey said is commonly used to conceal the scent from drug-sniffing dogs. They also seized scales, drug ledgers and a money counter, Mulvey said.

Agents had identified Rojas' apartment as a suspected drug trafficking location as part of an ongoing investigation, and believe he was trafficking over 110 pounds of cocaine per month.

Rojas' girlfriend, Ana Then, 20, who was also in the apartment at the time of the search, pleaded guilty to a criminal facilitation charge, since the apartment was in her name.

Mulvey said agents also found a five-gallon tub of grease in the apartment, which she said would have been used to coat the drugs in preparation to transport them without attracting attention from drug-sniffing dogs.

"It was going to be used to mask the smell in transportation somewhere," she said of the grease.

Rojas' lawyer, Patrick Brackley, said that his client had no arrest record and he plans to fight the charges.

"All of the contraband was taken from an apartment that wasn’t in his name, so he’s going to deny his guilt," he said. "It’s his first arrest."
 
Mulvey also said the DEA has noticed a recent trend in which stash houses with large amounts of drugs are located near major state thruways. The apartment is close to the Major Deegan Expressway.

Rojas is due back in court Nov. 6.

A Horace Mann security officer said the school was not aware of the incident.

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