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Authorities Seize 440 lbs of Cocaine in N.J.

FORT LEE, N.J. (AP) -- Police have found 440 pounds of cocaine in what is being described as one of the largest drug busts ever in Bergen County.

The cocaine has an estimated street value of $2.5 million, authorities said Saturday night.

Authorities also said they found $400,000 in cash after stopping Carlos F. Perez, 40, and Maxina Perez, 40, in a car and then returning to a town house that authorities believe was their distribution facility.

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli told The Sunday Record of Bergen County that he was "very pleased" with the work and with the size of the seizure.

Molinelli also said that the bust was an indication of how Bergen County is being utilized in the Northeast for drug trafficking.

"Drugs are not coming into New York City directly from Florida and Mexico," Molinelli told The Sunday Record. "They are using Bergen County as stash houses."

Carlos and Maxina Perez, both listed as living in the Bronx, N.Y., and in Tacoma, Md., have been charged with first degree cocaine possession and possession with the intent to distribute.

Both also face money laundering charges. Their bail has been set by a judge at $1 million each with no 10 percent option.

Molinelli said that the residence was being used as a drug distribution facility where traffickers would "take small quantities across the George Washington Bridge and bring back cash."

Authorities had been staking out a local motel where they suspected drug activity. They became suspicious about the town house after watching cars leave the motel and go there.

Police said they searched the town house and storage facility after Carlos Perez allegedly gave authorities false information during the traffic stop.

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