Massive Drug Bust Targets Luxury New York Apartment

With millions of dollars in illegal narcotics flowing into the United States each year, it wasn’t particularly surprising that federal and local law enforcement made a large drug bust in Manhattan last week. What was surprising was the location, a luxury apartment on West 54th St. in the city’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.

An investigation into methamphetamine and cocaine trafficking resulted in the seizure of approximately 30 pounds of methamphetamine, and over eight pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of over $1.1 million. A backpack containing over $27,000 in cash was also found.

According to the New York Post, the seizure resulted in the arrests of a Colorado resident Jovanny Salas, 29, and Manhattan resident Sergio Betancourt Peralta, 34. Each suspect was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First, Second and Third Degrees.

NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban said, “The charges stemming from this case demonstrate the unwavering commitment of the NYPD, the DEA, and all of our law enforcement partners to investigate thoroughly anyone allegedly involved in the illicit drug trade in New York City.”

The Post reported that the alleged drug-dealing duo leave behind a luxury apartment that boasts an array of amenities, such as a 24-hour front desk concierge, as listed on the Mercedes House website. Other in-house luxuries include, but are not limited to, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a full-service day spa, a jacuzzi area, indoor basketball courts, sauna and steam rooms, a private gym and boxing, yoga, and spin studios.

Prosecutors asked Judge Valentina Morales to set bail at $1 million cash each for Betancourt Peralta and Salas to ensure they would remain at Rikers Island until their next court date.

But Morales, who has released at least four allegedly violent criminals since taking the bench in 2021, lowered the duo’s bail to $75,000 each, records show.

While this drug bust is notable for the posh location, Fox 5 News in New York City just released a timeline of some of the most noteworthy drug busts in the city over the past few decades.