A Bethpage man was arrested Thursday after he allegedly signed for a package that contained cigars stuffed with cocaine, Nassau County police said in announcing his arrest.
Ariel Rodriguez, 31, was arraigned Sept. 27 at Nassau First District Court in Hempstead and ordered held on $250,000 bail or $500,000 bond. He was charged with two Class A felonies – first-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. If convicted, he faces life behind bars.
Nassau police said they launched a joint investigation with a multitude of federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the US Postal Service. Investigators were watching Rodriguez as he received packages at Forest Grocery located at 384 Forest Ave. in Locust Valley.
According to detectives, Rodriguez signed for a package of cigars at the bodega on Thursday evening. Wrapped inside the cigars, police said, were two kilos of cocaine. Rodriguez was arrested at the scene.
According to court records, Rodriguez is due back in a Mineola courtroom on Oct. 1.
The NYPD also assisted in the investigation.