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Bergen County men accused of roles in drug ring

Federal authorities are accusing two older men from Bergen County, New Jersey, with involvement in international drug crimes.

The men, ages 72 and 60, are being accused of playing a role in the drug operation, which police say was responsible for transporting opium from Iran into the United States.

The 72-year-old man is from Maywood while the 60-year-old hails from Ridgewood.

There are six defendants in total in the case, which details an operation in which the accused individuals allegedly smuggled the drugs into the states by placing them in Persian rugs.

According to a United States attorney, the operation worked with a number of rug merchants over in Iran, who helped hide the opium. The rugs and drugs were transported from Iran to Germany, where they were then exported to New York. Members of the operation picked up the drugs when they arrived in New York and distributed to other locations, even as far away as Los Angeles.

The New York Police Commissioner voiced his concern about the drugs getting out on the streets, saying that opium use can lead to addiction. He added that the method in which the smugglers got the opium into the country was unique.

To uncover the elaborate operation, investigators from a number of agencies conducted their investigation in the United States, Afghanistan and Germany. During the investigation, the authorities monitored suspects and tapped into cell phone conversations.

Drug-trafficking charges carry substantial potential punishments; especially severe for people of the ages these men have reached. In cases such as this, it's especially important for defendants to have experienced and effective legal counsel.

Source: "2 Bergen County men are accused of smuggling opium in Persian rugs," Julio Bautista, March 8, 2012