Several men have been charged after a police dog allegedly sniffed out more than $800,000 worth of hidden cocaine in their Bronx apartment in New York.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration announced the charges today, almost a month after the raids were carried out on September 3.
Cesar Chavez, 51, has been charged with major trafficking offences, while he and two other men, Cristian Rodriguez, and Roberto Javier-Batista, have also been charged with possession.
The DEA claimed Mr Chavez had worked to secure a supply of cocaine during a coronavirus-induced shortage.
The raid took place after authorities allegedly witnessed Mr Chavez carrying a brick-shaped package wrapped in plastic on leaving his home.
Inside, agents and police officers claim they found half a kilogram of cocaine and US$125,000 ($174,000) in cash, before the intrepid K-9 police dog took the lead.
The pooch led the investigators to the bathroom, where more cocaine was allegedly hidden behind the bathroom cabinet - about 11.5 kilograms of the narcotic were ultimately seized.
Packages were marked with a dragon symbol.
The total value of the drugs found in the apartment was US$600,000 ($836,000), the DEA said in a release.
The DEA said the impact of COVID-19 had led to cocaine prices skyrocketing.
Wholesale prices for cocaine in New York have increased by up to 72 per cent per kilogram, from US$25,000-US$30,000 ($35,000-$42,000) pre-pandemic, to a current rate of about US$48,000 ($67,000) per kilogram.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/cocaine-bust-police-dog-finds-secret-compartment-new-york/45a95740-a5bf-40ec-8830-26fef4db0cf7