According to the DEA, six men are accused of unloading a truck filled with pot and $200,000 to $300,000 in bundled cash.
The incident occurred in Elmhurst, Queens on Monday morning.
A DEA press release states that task force members were in the area of 50-22 Ireland Street at approximately 1:25 a.m. on Monday morning. The task force noticed six Asian men unloading cardboard boxes from a truck into a small U-Haul truck and a cargo van.
As task force members approached the truck, they noticed a strong odor of marijuana.
Task force members observed seven pallets of cardboard boxes, stacked six feet high in the trailer.
Inside the boxes, agents found bundles of marijuana and cash.
DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt said, “The seizure and arrests surprised us just as much as it surprised the defendants when arrested. However, it shows that law enforcement agents and officers possess the keen ability to spot the things that don’t belong. In this case, the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force spotted and seized over $3.5 million dollars worth of marijuana that was destined to be trafficked throughout NYC.”
District Attorney Richard Brown said, “The defendants are accused of removing cartons of marijuana stacked six feet high from a tractor trailer across the street from the Good Fortune Supermarket in Elmhurst when confronted by law enforcement. The defendants, who hail from California, Canada and Brooklyn, made a mistake by stopping in Queens County to distribute their illegal wares. They now face serious drug charges.”
The defendants have been identified as Weiyang Yao, 47, of Cucamonga, California, Yuejiang Zeng, 53, of San Gabriel, California, Shan Wu Zhang, 30, of British Columbia, Canada, and Duanzhao Zhang, 38, Tong Shun Zhang, 29, and Tong Zhew Zhang, 24, all of Brooklyn. They are currently awaiting arraignment. Each have been charged with first-degree criminal possession of marijuana. If convicted, the defendants each face up to five and one-half years in prison.