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Texas authorities find $19 million of cocaine hidden in shipment of Mexican potato chips

Two Mexican citizens have been arrested after authorities found more than 300 pounds of cocaine hidden in a shipment of potato chips in South Texas.

Jesus Salvador Gonzalez-Mendoza, 25, and Hernan Halil Mena-Real, 26, were arrested May 2 in Mission. Both are residents of Jalisco, Mexico, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.

According to a criminal complaint, a DPS agent became suspicious about a warehouse in Mission whose purported name — International Wholesales and Trade — did not appear to be a legitimate company registered in Texas.

Agents got permission from two men at the warehouse — Gonzalez-Mendoz and Mena-Real — to search the building. But despite law-enforcement dogs signaling pallets in the warehouse, the agents did not find any contraband and left.

Later, a DPS agent spoke with a truck driver who had left the warehouse, the complaint says. The trucker told the agent she had refused to take a load from the warehouse because she didn't think it was a legitimate business.

Agent returned to the warehouse and again obtained permission to search if from Gonzalez-Mendoza and Mena-Real.

They searched every box in the building and recovered 133 bundles of cocaine, weighing 323 pounds, mixed in with a shipment of Mexican potato chips. The street value of the cocaine is around $19 million, the DPS said.

Gonzalez-Mendoza told authorities he had helped load two trucks with drugs in recent weeks, but he had not seen the drugs, the complaint says.

He and Mena-Real were arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and they were booked into the San Juan city jail.

Source of article click here : Dallas News

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