Troopers say they stopped a truck passing through Strafford this weekend with about 11 pounds of cocaine.
Luis J. Duarte, 58, and Adriana Gutierrez-Ramirez, 42, were charged Monday with possession with intent to distribute large amounts of cocaine after troopers say they were caught driving the drugs from Arizona toward Ohio.
According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper stopped a Budget moving truck on Interstate 44 in Strafford on Saturday morning after the truck weaved onto the shoulder three times.
Duarte was driving the truck, and Gutierrez-Ramirez was in the passenger seat, according to the complaint.
The complaint says the trooper became suspicious because neither Duarte nor Gutierrez-Ramirez could tell the trooper what city they were moving to, and they both appeared "extremely nervous."
Duarte gave the trooper permission to search the vehicle, and the trooper found a kilogram-sized package of cocaine in the back of the truck, according to the release.
The complaint says troopers later took the truck back to the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Troop D headquarters in Springfield where they found four more kilogram-sized packages of cocaine in a cardboard box inside the truck.
Duarte allegedly told authorities that he was being paid an unknown amount of money to drive the truck from Phoenix, Arizona to Ohio.
Gutierrez-Ramirez allegedly told authorities she was being paid $3,000 to make the trip.
Duarte and Gutierrez-Ramirez are being held in the Greene County Jail without bond. They made their initial court appearances Monday morning in Springfield, and a detention hearing has been scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
An attorney for Duarte declined to comment Tuesday morning, and an attorney for Gutierrez-Ramirez did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment for this report.
Cocaine busts are relatively rare in this part of the state. The Springfield Police Department's investigative units seized less than 2.5 pounds of cocaine between 2011 and 2016.
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