Drug bust on I-10 nets $700,000 worth of cocaine

Drug bust on I-10 nets $700,000 worth of cocaine
Pedro Barrios Jr is charged with possession with the intent to distribute. (Source: Harrison County Jail)
Pedro Barrios Jr is charged with possession with the intent to distribute. (Source: Harrison County Jail)

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Texas man has been turned over to U.S. Marshals after authorities found $700,000 worth of cocaine in his big rig earlier this week.

Pedro Barrios, Jr. was arrested Tuesday after a routine safety inspection in Hancock County led officers to find 30 kilograms of cocaine in his vehicle.

Barrios, 46, was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. He was taken to Hancock County Jail, where he was held until Thursday when he went before Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker for his initial appearance.

According to Mississippi Department of Transportation, Barrios was stopped in his 2000 Freightliner tractor trailer, which was loaded down with detergents and soap. The vehicle was reportedly heading from Laredo, TX to West Palm Beach, FL.

Enforcement officers stopped the vehicle on I-10 for a fuel, weight, safety and paperwork inspection. As part of that inspection, officers were inspecting the cargo to make sure it matched the paperwork. That's when MDOT says they found three bundles in back of the trailer - two wrapped in grey duct tape and another wrapped in clear plastic. Upon further inspection, officers discovered that those bundles were cocaine.

"I am very proud of our officers' efforts to protect the public," said MDOT Commissioner Tom King in a written statement. "Their dedicated work continues to make our neighborhoods and state safer by keeping drugs like these from reaching the streets."

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.

"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 in his statement. “We must continue to be vigilant for this type activity that will impact the safety of the public.”

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