ST. PAULS — Five people and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cocaine are now in the custody of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office following a drug bust by narcotics agents.
County and federal agents found 5 kilograms of cocaine while searching a home at 139 Snowhill Road on Friday afternoon, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office. Another kilogram was found in a secret compartment in one of two cars the agents searched and seized, the statement said. The vehicle was being used to transport the drugs, the statement said.
According to a 2011 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, a gram of cocaine costs about $120 on the street in the United States. Six kilograms is equal to about 13.23 pounds, putting its value at $720,000.
Simone Kearns, 47; Andrea Chaidez-Cota, 54; Rene Lopez-Rodriguez, 37; Arturo Rojas-Marban, 25; and Jose Angel Meza-Cano, 26; are all charged with trafficking cocaine and conspiring to traffic cocaine, the statement said.
Rojas-Marban and Meza-Cano live at the Snowhill Road home. Lopez-Rodriguez lives at a different address in Red Springs. Kearns and Chaidez-Cota are from Phoenix.
They are all being held at the Robeson County Detention Center under a bond of $1 million each.
The Sheriff’s Office declined to provide any further details about the bust. The Robesonian was unable to obtain photos of those who have been charge with the crimes for today’s print edition because of problems with the computer system at the Sheriff’s Office. The Robesonian, however, will include those photographs with a version of the story that is published later at robesonian.com.