Diamond District Jeweler Was Drug Front, Police Say

A supposed jewelry business based in New York City’s Diamond District was actually a drug front, according to a release from the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Authorities say they seized a 121 lb. shipment of cocaine (pictured) from 21 Divine—a jewelry business operating out of two offices at 43 West 47th Street—following surveillance of three suspicious packages delivered from another supposed jewelry company, Los Angeles–based Sapphire.

After agents seized the shipment, a man, later identified as Junior Lopez-Pena, was arrested as he attempted to exit the location. Lopez-Pena, 26, of Haverstraw, N.Y., faces charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees.

At the business, agents discovered the cocaine as well as a money counter, the release says.

In a statement, special narcotics prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan called the trafficking scheme “brazen,” noting it involved “the delivery of 55 kilograms of cocaine to a bustling commercial center in Midtown Manhattan during broad daylight.”

Lopez-Pena’s attorney told the New York Daily News his client has done nothing wrong. “He simply signed for a package and left,” he said.

(Image courtesy of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force)

JCK News Director