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Two Riverview men accused in a 75 pound cocaine deal

Published July 1, 2006

TAMPA - Detectives have accused two Riverview men of offering to sell undercover investigators nearly 75 pounds of cocaine.

Alvin Lozano-Ayala, 38, of 3901 Ixora Court and Ivan Betancourt , 45, of 13345 Prestwick Drive were arrested on charges of cocaine trafficking and conspiracy after investigators seized 34 kilograms - 74.8 pounds - of cocaine, police say.

On Thursday, the two men arranged to sell the cocaine to undercover detectives for $100,000 and to use three luxury cars as collateral until the balance of $156,000 was paid, police say.

After their arrest, the men told investigators they found the cocaine in a 2005 Lincoln Town Car that Betancourt had towed from Port Tampa, police say.

He told investigators he worked for a towing company and was asked to remove the abandoned Lincoln.

When the car was brought to the tow yard, the men checked inside the car and discovered the drugs, he told police.

Detectives found the car at the tow yard at 2106 50th St. S, and they seized two more kilos of cocaine from inside.

Both men were being held without bail Friday in the Hillsborough County Jail, each charged with one count of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine and three counts of trafficking in the drug.

The investigation was handled by the Tampa High Intensity Drug Trafficking Initiative, which includes Tampa police, sheriff's investigators from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Immigration & Customs Enforcement.

[Last modified June 30, 2006, 23:17:18]

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