Federal authorities seized 51 pounds of methamphetamine and 11 pounds of heroin smuggled from Mexico to New Jersey, arresting a local drug kingpin and three traffickers.
The Drug Enforcement Administration said the drugs were confiscated last month at the Vince Lombardi Service Area off Interstate 95 after a two-week wiretap investigation.
The meth haul, valued at about $4.8 million, was the largest seizure of the drug in the region in recent years, the DEA said. The heroin was worth another $1.75 million. The supplies were destined for New York City streets.
New York City's special narcotics prosecutor, Bridget Brennan, said the case shows a link between Mexican cartels and New York City.
"It appears that the Mexican cartels are now attempting to directly distribute this dangerous drug in the New York area," she said in a statement.
The DEA said the drugs came from Mexico to Texas, and were then taken to New Jersey. The operation used truck drivers to transport the drugs.
Agents listening to wiretaps learned that a New York City-based drug kingpin was awaiting a large shipment, and they tracked it as it moved across the country in a truck carrying bulldozer parts.
Agents were waiting when the shipment arrived at the rest stop in New Jersey. The kingpin and traffickers were arrested.