Highway Patrol busts smugglers, finds $2.4 million in cocaine

Published: Jun. 18, 2011 at 3:06 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 18, 2011 at 3:04 AM EDT
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MONROE, N.C. (WBTV) – A traffic stop by North Carolina state troopers led to one of the largest cocaine seizures in the Charlotte area, according to the Justice Department.

On Thursday, June 16, state troopers stopped a Ford F-150 truck along Highway 74 in Monroe. During the stop, state troopers said they saw three duffel bags in the back seat of the truck.

One of the bags was slightly unzipped troopers said, and they saw what appeared to be packages wrapped in brown tape.

A drug-sniffing dog was called to the scene and the animal indicated to officers that drugs were present in the truck. After a conducting a search…troopers said they found 81 kilograms of cocaine.

The 81 kilos has an estimated street value of $2.4 million, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Two men, Rueben Orozco-Garcia, 33, and Juan Gonzalez-Vejar, 46, were arrested on June 17, 2011, and charged with suspicion of trafficking cocaine.

A department of justice spokesperson said the case against Gozalez-Vejar and Orozco –Garcia is still unfolding, and more information about the case could be revealed over the next few days.

Investigators said the men confessed to and showed DEA agents several homes they used in Union and Mecklenburg counties to process cocaine.

Both men are suspected of being in the United States illegally, and are in federal custody at the Mecklenburg County Jail under no bond.