Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Tue, Dec. 10

Police find cocaine hidden in pick up

KINGMAN - Authorities say an officer found 10 pounds of cocaine during a traffic stop last month when his curiosity was peaked after noticing markings around the intake manifold of the vehicle.

Arizona Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jamie Clark said the driver, identified as Benito Velazco, who had a driver's license out of Nevada, went to great lengths to hide the drugs, which were packaged in cylinders about the size of a soda can and wrapped in heat shield tape.

Clark said the 2001 Dodge pick-up truck was stopped on Interstate 40 around 9:40 a.m. April 20 for speeding as well as a window tinting violation. The officer reportedly got consent to search the truck after noticing what Clark described as indicators of criminal behavior.

During the search, the officer noticed that there were "tooling" marks on the bolts near the intake manifold. The officer removed the covering and stuck a tool through the hole, inadvertently poking a hole in one of the packages, which left a white powdery residue on the tool.

The truck was then towed from the scene to a secure facility where authorities removed the air filter and found the drugs, which were given a value of $120,000 by police.

Velazco was arrested and booked into the Mohave County Jail. He was reportedly traveling from Nevada to Kentucky.

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