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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jeffersontown Police say three men arrested for setting up a fake drug deal that was supposed to turn into a robbery are part of an organized crime ring that operates extensively in the Louisville area. One of the men allegedly impersonated a police officer.
According to arrest reports, officers were called to the Hampton Inn & Suites in Jeffersontown, near the interchange between I-64 and Blankenbaker Pkwy., shortly after 5 p.m. on Thursday.
Police say they went there because they'd received information about possible drug deal in that area in which "a large amount of marijuana" would change hands.
Maj. Kenneth Hatmaker with the Jeffersontown Police Dept. explains, "This is organized crime akin to the Mafia of the old days. These guys are Cuban nationals, this group is out of Miami...Louisville is more of a central hub. Louisville is centrally located in the Midwest, and these groups operate not only in Miami, Florida, Detroit, Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, as far west as California, Texas."
While at the Hampton Inn, detectives allegedly saw 22-year-old Carlos Cordova-Alman and 21-year-old Cesar Valdes Bejerano parking a vehicle and getting out with a large duffle bag.
When detectives confronted the two men, they allegedly smelled a strong odor of marijuana.
At this point, they say 28-year-old AnideoCepero-Aldana, another suspect who was sitting in another vehicle in the parking lot, abruptly tried to drive away, but was stopped by police. Aldana has been known to use aliases, police said.
Police say the duffle bag had been stuffed with clothing to make it appear as though it contained several lbs. of marijuana. A small baggie of actual marijuana was also found.
According to the arrest report, Valdes Bejerano and Cordova-Aleman were both armed, and had rubber gloves. Additionally, Cordova-Aleman allegedly had a police badge around his neck, along with zip ties that were made to be used as handcuffs.
Police say the three men were questioned by ATF officials and admitted that they had arranged a deal to sell 5 lbs. of marijuana to a customer for $18,000, but planned on robbing the customer instead, taking the money without giving the customer the pot.
All three of the men were charged with robbery, trafficking in a controlled substance and trafficking in marijuana. Cordova-Alman is charged with impersonating a police officer.