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Routine MDOT inspection leads to $700,000 drug bust

Three bundles of cocaine were seized by MDOT Enforcement Officers during a routine inspection stop on I-10 in Hancock County. The bundles contained approximately 30 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of $700,000. Photo courtesy of MDOT

A routine safety inspection turned into much more for the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

Officers stopped a 2000 Freightliner tractor and van trailer eastbound on I-10 for a fuel, weight, safety and paperwork inspection. During the inspection, officers observed three bundles near the rear of the trailer: two wrapped in grey duct tape, and one wrapped in clear plastic. Inside of those bundles was 30 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of $700,000.

The driver of the West Palm Beach-bound trailer, 46-year-old Barrios Pedro was arrested and charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver and is awaiting arraignment in the Hancock County Jail.

Tom King, Commissioner of Southern Transportation District, says that this arrest shows the department’s commitment to keeping the public safe.

“I am very proud of our officers’ efforts to protect the public,” King said.“Their dedicated work continues to make our neighborhoods and state safer by keeping drugs like these from reaching the streets.”

King went on to say that occurrences like this show that officer must constantly be on the lookout.

“As evidenced by this significant seizure, MDOT Enforcement Officers are aware illegal drugs, other contraband, and even Human Trafficking victims are often transported in commercial vehicles,” King said. “We must continue to be vigilant for this type activity that will impact the safety of the public.”

The investigation of the source and destination of the cocaine is being conducted by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and MDOT Enforcement. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department assisted with the preliminary investigation. The tractor and trailer was impounded pending the results of the investigation.

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