Just when we were starting to worry that Miami was losing cachet as ground zero for all crimes cocaine-fueled -- maybe that study about coke making your heart explode in the Miami heat really freaked everyone out? -- the DEA swoops in to remind us that we're still number one, damnit!
The feds this morning broke up a big-time Miami-to-New York City coke ring, arresting six men whom prosecutors say ran the operation. Eight Miami residents are charged in the indictment, but two are still on the lam.
The coke-running ring was led by 59-year-old Carlos Lodos-Gil, who comes with one of the better nicknames in the Miami crime world: "Molleja" -- which, if our unabridged Spanish dictionary is worth a damn, means "Gizzard."
Along with the other seven defendants, the Gizzard is charged with intent to distribute more than 5 kilos of cocaine from July to May 2009. Lodos-Gil also faces charges of distributing narcotics on four other, specific dates.
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The defendants are scheduled in court for their first hearing a bit later this afternoon. Click through for a full list of the men charged.
- Carlos "Molleja" Lodos-Gil, 59
- Daniel "Chama" Gerardo Torres, 39
- Carlos Juanes, 44
- Jose Betancourt, 41
- Ruben "Clavo" Pedrera, 56
- Victor "Biti" Ahmmed Iglesias, 35
- Jorge Lebrada, 55
- Richard Abreu, 23
Torres and Betancourt are still at large, prosecutors say.
"These arrests dismantled a Miami-Dade County-based drug trafficking organization that distributed drugs locally and in New York," says DEA special agent in charge Mark Trouville.