Texas Man Sentenced in Federal Court in Louisiana After Trooper Discovers Over 6 lbs of Cocaine in Vehicle

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Published February 13, 2023

Texas Man Sentenced in Federal Court in Louisiana After Trooper Discovers Over 6 lbs of Cocaine in Vehicle

Louisiana – A Texas man has been sentenced in a federal court in Louisiana after a Louisiana State Trooper discovered over 6 lbs of cocaine in the vehicle he was driving.

Emilio Rodriguez, 28, from Channelview, Texas, was sentenced for possession with intent to distribute cocaine, announced United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown. Rodriguez was sentenced by United States District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote to 60 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release.

According to evidence provided to the court, a Louisiana State Police trooper stopped a vehicle with Texas license plates for committing a traffic violation on Interstate 20 in the Western District of Louisiana on November 17, 2021. The trooper approached the front passenger side of the vehicle after stopping it, and Rodriguez rolled down both front windows. He was the only occupant of the vehicle. However, the automobile was registered to a different individual. Rodriguez confirmed to the officer that he did not possess a Texas driver’s license, but he did produce a Texas identity card.

While speaking with Rodriguez, the officer detected a strong odor of air freshener emanating from the vehicle and grew dubious of the explanation Rodriguez presented about his travel plans. When a K-9 officer and his dog arrived on the scene, the dog alerted affirmatively to the vehicle. The troopers investigated the vehicle and discovered vacuum-sealed brick-shaped packets, presumed to be cocaine, concealed in the side panel of the dashboard on the passenger side. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents aided, and the drugs were seized and taken to a laboratory for analysis. The laboratory analysis verified that the seized drug was 3,003.9 grams (6.6 lbs) of a cocaine-containing combination or substance.

The DEA and Louisiana State Police investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary J. Mudrick.