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Bronx V.A. Medical Center at heart of international cocaine-running scheme

Bronx V.A. Medical Center at heart of cocaine-running scheme
Bronx V.A. Medical Center at heart of cocaine-running scheme
Getty Images/released to Examiner

Federal drug crimes investigators arrested two employees at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in The Bronx this week when it was discovered they were using the V.A. as a cover for a cocaine-running operation. Neither of the arrested employees worked in the office or directly with veterans, it appears.

Robert Tucker, 64, whose address of record is in The Bronx and Eric Casiano, 29, of New Jersey, were taken to Manhattan to face criminal charges in federal court. The laundry list of charges includes possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. It was not immediately known if the two drug-runners had previous criminal records.

The drug operation apparently began at the Veterans Medical Center back in November of 2013.

Robert Tucker is a warehouse and mail-center supervisor. Eric Casiano is an agency pipe-fitter. So far there has been no indication on how the two got together to cook up the international cocaine-running scheme, although it’s clear that both thought using the V. A. as a cover was a good idea.

The two were tripped up by astute postal inspectors in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when they seized a packaged addressed to The Bronx V.A. Medical Center marked “Warehouse”. When opened, the package contained around two kilos of cocaine. From there investigators set up a sting operation that led to Tucker and Casiano’s arrest on Wednesday. The news broke yesterday via the New York Post.

They face anywhere from 10 years to life in prison if convicted. Only the judge will know if he intends to add some extra time to the sentence for the drug operation being run out of a federal medical facility.