Three Norristown brothers and their cousin were charged by a federal grand jury yesterday with conspiracy to distribute 44 grams of cocaine.
The cocaine had a street value of $1.5 million, authorities said.
The indictment charged that brothers Jaime Verdin-Perez, Miguel Verdin-Perez and Augustin Verdin-Perez, as well as their cousin Edgar Verdin-Diaz, received the shipment of cocaine on June 30 in a parked car in King of Prussia and stored it overnight at Miguel Verdin-Perez's home.
The next morning Jaime and Augustin purchased a red, two-door Honda Accord specially fitted with a hidden compartment in the rear passenger area of the vehicle, the charging papers said. The compartment was for hiding cocaine when delivering it to customers, the indictment said.
A few hours later, Jaime and Miguel, driving separate cars, arrived at a parking lot near 5th and Lycoming streets, Philadelphia, and agreed to sell a buyer a kilo of coke at another location in Philadelphia later that afternoon for $31,000.
The two returned to Miguel's home and loaded up the red Accord with 10 kilos of coke, the indictment charged. Then Jaime and Augustin and their cousin drove to a parking lot at G Street and Hunting Park Avenue where they agreed to meet the buyer, and there were arrested by federal drug agents.
Agents subsequently arrested Miguel Verdin-Perez at his home, where, they said, they discovered an additional 34 kilos of cocaine, a loaded .380-cal. handgun, cash and packaging materials.
If convicted of all charges, the defendants face a mandatory minimum of 15 years behind bars.