One arrested after state trooper discovers 11 pounds of cocaine in false compartment

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

March 12, 2008 - A routine interstate traffic stop by state troopers early this morning resulted in one felony drug arrest and the seizure of about 11 pounds of cocaine.

State Trooper David Reynolds is credited with the bust. He stopped Rafael Ruperto Prado, 51, of Mercedes at 1:49 a.m. at the 135 mile marker on Interstate 30 after noting the Pontiac Sunfire that Prado was driving didn't have a license plate light.

According to reports, Reynolds noted the Mercedes man to be extremely nervous. He further raised the trooper's suspicions of illegal activity after giving an implausible story while talking with Reynolds. As a result, Reynolds asked and was granted Prado's permission to search his car.

Reynolds was first tipped off to the possibility that illegal substances in the vehicle after finding a dollar bill with cocaine residue on the driver's seat of the car. A more thorough search revealed a false compartment d in the back right wheel well.

Inside the false compartment, Reynolds located five bundles, each weighing 1 kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of what was believed to be cocaine.

Prado was arrested 2:10 a.m. by Reynolds on a first-degree felony possession of a controlled substance charge and booked into the Hopkins County jail.

The vehicle the cocaine was found in was impounded.

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