Last April, Burlington police seized $699,771 in cash from Paul Espinoza, an active-duty soldier completing training in Jacksonville, an affadavit shows. After his arrest, Espinoza told authorities he had helped broker a shipment of 40 kilograms of cocaine from an El Paso-based drug operation to Charlotte.
Other men are accused of hiding and selling the drugs from an east Charlotte house (pictured).They hid cocaine under a shed and wrapped money from drug sales in $10,000 bundles that were vacuum-sealed in Saran Wrap, the affadavit says.
This comes three weeks after other court papers described a separate February 2009 sting. That incident started on South Boulevard and led to 41 kilos of cocaine, reportedly flown in from Dallas.
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- Doug Miller, Maria David