Two people have been arrested after the Texas Department of Public Safety seized more than 300 pounds of cocaine from a shipment of Mexican potato chips.
Mexican citizens Jesus Salvador Gonzalez-Mendoza, 25, and Hernan Halil Mena-Real, 26, were arrested by DPS special agents at a warehouse in Palmview on May 2 and now face federal drug charges.
DPS became suspicious that “International Wholesales and Trade” was not a legitimate business after observing “several indicators of criminal activity at [the] warehouse.” Agents were granted permission from Gonzalez-Mendoza and Mena-Real and searched the premises but did not find any proof of illegal activity.
After speaking with a truck driver, a DPS agent decided to return to the warehouse. The truck driver told the agent that she had refused a load from the warehouse because she didn’t think that the company was legitimate, according to a report in the Dallas Morning News.
DPS agents asked and once again were granted permission to search the warehouse by Gonzalez-Mendoza and Mena-Real. This time, agents found 133 bundles of cocaine mixed in with a shipment of Mexican potato chips. The seized drugs weighed 323 pounds and had an estimated street value of $19 million, according to DPS.
Gonzalez-Mendoza and Mena-Real were arrested and booked into the San Juan jail.