Crime Tracker

21 pounds of cocaine from Mexico seized by drug agents on I-40

DICKSON, Tenn. (WKRN) - Drug agents with the 23rd Judicial Task Force make a sizable cocaine bust Monday afternoon on I-40 outside of Dickson. 

Officers intercepted 21 and a half pounds of cocaine they say was headed to North Carolina most likely from Mexico by way of Texas. 

It all started Monday afternoon, agents with the 23rd Judicial Drug Task Force stopped a Buick SUV with Texas tags.  

There were three adults are in the car: Rodolfo Javier Falcon Garcia, Jose Gerardo Ornelas Pineda, and Claudia Claribel Gardea. There were also two small children in the car. 

Once officers discovered cocaine in secret compartments, they told News 2, they were distressed for the children. 

 "It bothers me. It's shameful someone would drag their kids across the country to smuggle drugs it is pitiful." 

From the start, you can see on dash cam that the officer sensed something wasn’t right and the occupants of the car were not being truthful. 

The man driving the car when they are pulled over does not have a license. The second man in the car, who is not driving, does have a valid license.  

The officer is heard asking the man with the license this: “Why are you not driving?”  The man with the license, not driving says with a laugh, "It's not my truck." 

Later in the stop, the driver with no license exited the vehicle. No weapons were found in the stop, although the agent would later say, he already had his suspicions at this point.  

The officer asked the driver if there are any hidden compartments in the vehicle because if there are, he will find them. The drugs were found while agents were searching the trunk.  

Dash cam shows the hatchback begin to fall because there are more than 4 kilos (2.2 pounds per kilo) stashed in a secret compartment in the hatch. 

"It's not supposed to hold that much additional weight," said the officer.  

A further search turned up a second secret compartment in the floorboards that yielded more than five more kilos of cocaine.  

In all, agents seized nine bricks of cocaine totaling more than 21 pounds and valued at more than a quarter million dollars. 

Once in custody, the child's mother admitted she is in the country illegally.  

“The female admitted she's been deported twice,” said the officer.  

While shooting this story, one of the suspect's cell phone rings repeatedly. 

Agents say the caller was from Mexico trying to get a hold of the now arrested drug couriers.  

"Probably wondering where their dope is." 

Once drugs are identified, you can hear the agents express their displeasure that the children are being subjected to this dangerous enterprise. 

“Shameful someone would bring their kids along to smuggle drugs, but we've seen it before and we'll see it again,” said the officer.  

In addition to the coke charges agents are also considering child endangerment charges. The three are charged with possession with intent to sell and manufacture cocaine. 

All three are currently in the Dickson County Jail, where they declined to be interviewed for this story.


National Stories

Local News

Video Center