Meridian Star

November 22, 2013

Police charge two in cocaine case

By Brian Livingston / blivingston@themeridianstar.com
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Meridian Police Department authorities said Thursday afternoon two New Jersey men who were being held in connection with the discovery of 10 kilos of cocaine in their 18-wheeler cab have been charged.

    Lt. John Griffith, executive officer for the MPD, said Thursday 35-year-old Wellington Y. Diaz, and his brother, 33-year-old Felipe Diaz, have been charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute more than one kilo. Bond for each man was placed at $200,000.

    Tuesday night an Interstate Criminal Enforcement (ICE) officer found the drugs in the cab of the 18-wheeler after the officer conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 20 east of Meridian. The traffic stop occurred at about 10:50 p.m. as the big rig was traveling east out of Meridian toward Alabama.

    MPD Chief James Lee said the officer found the cocaine while inspecting the 18-wheeler. Lee said the value of the cocaine as packaged was estimated at $350,000 but added if it had been cut and distributed, the street value would have been much higher.

    The semi-truck was impounded as evidence in the case, while the trailer, filled with rice and noodles, was to be picked up by the company that owns the load, Lee said.