State Patrol Makes Massive Cocaine Bust Near Rochester
The charges say a trooper was stationed on I-90 in Olmsted County when he saw a vehicle without a front license plate around 3:45 Tuesday morning. The trooper stopped the vehicle after seeing it cross the fog line and noticing it had what is described as nearly opaque window tint.
The trooper made contact with the driver, identified as 45-year-old Jorge Arreola and the passenger, identified 35-year-old Noemi Cervantes. The criminal complaint says the vehicle was full of air fresheners and that Arreola and Cervantes gave what were described as evasive and nonsensical answers, saying they were traveling to Georgia from California.
The trooper was granted permission to search the vehicle and located a metal straw with cocaine residue, according to the criminal complaint. Arreola was then arrested and the vehicle was towed to a heated location for a further search during the sub-zero-degree morning.
During the in-depth search, law enforcement found over eight pounds of a substance that tested positive for cocaine, an amount that indicates an intent to sell the drug, the charges say. Cervantes was then placed under arrest and told troopers she told troopers she did not know cocaine was in the vehicle.
An audio recording of the traffic stop picked up Arreola telling Cervantes to say she did not know anything about the cocaine, according to court documents. Arreola and Cervantes were arraigned on charges of felony first-degree drug sales, felony first-degree drug possession and a felony charge for importing drugs across state lines.
An Olmsted County judge set their conditional bail at $300,000. Their next court date is set for February 15.