Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents, working alongside the 104th precinct, seized more than 50,000 pounds of bud and arrested ten people in the sting operation.
The DEA, which declined to comment on the story as the case is under investigation, announced the milestone bust on Saturday, February 21, but did not say when the arrests were made, or exactly where in Middle Village. Federal officials said they had been working on the case for two years.
"This will go down in history as one of the biggest pot busts ever," a federal official told the Daily News, which first reported the story. "These guys were doing it very big."
The street value of the seizure amounted to $150 million, the official said.
The ring was a coordinated, multi-country effort between Canadian and American drug runners who risked border patrols, state and city police in both countries to bring their product to market in the city.
After being grown on hydroponic farms in British Colombia, the top-notch grass was driven across Canada to the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation. From there, it was smuggled into the state and transported to a home in Middle Village.
The federal official familiar with the case said the herb was stashed in the walls of the home before being sold on the street. The 104th precinct was responsible for the arrest that blew the case open when they arrested Mersim Kolenovic, a member of the criminal group who was caught transporting nine pounds of the buddha. His arrest led to a raid of the Middle Village drug den.
According to a criminal complaint, the drug lords that led the operation are Randolf Square, 34, and David Sunday, 37, both Canadians.
The men, who were arraigned last week in Brooklyn Federal Court, face up to 20 years in prison and are being held without bail. Court documents show their eight accomplices are facing 10 years in prison.
The 104th precinct declined to comment on their role in the operation, as the case is now a federal matter.