A California-based trucker was sentenced to federal prison today after he pled guilty to charges related to cocaine distribution.
On Thursday, May 21, 73 year old Andrew Richard Rodarte was sentenced to 8 years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of North Carolina.
In September 2019, Rodarte pled guilty to charges of possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, aiding, and abetting.
Authorities say that agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) observed Rodarte drive his semi truck to a home that was under investigation in Littleton, North Carolina.
At the home, Rodarte was allegedly seen meeting with individuals who unloaded duffel bags from the sleeper berth of the truck.
Rodarte then left the home and drove his semi truck to a nearby truck stop on Highway 903 outside Halifax.
When investigators followed Rodarte to the truck stop and knocked on his door to question him, he reportedly gave inconsistent answers and denied stopping off at the residence in Littleton.
Law enforcement officers then executed a search warrant at the home, where they located Luis Enrrique Arroyo-Jimenez and discovered that the duffel bags concealed in a bedroom closet contained 80 kilograms of cocaine.
When investigators searched Rodarte’s truck, they found $2,055,141 in cash in a hidden compartment.
Rodarte reportedly later admitted to transporting the cocaine and said that he had previously done so at least five other times.
Arroyo-Jimenez also pled guilty last fall to charges of possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, aiding, and abetting. He is scheduled for sentencing in June 2020.
Authorities in Halifax County called this the largest drug seizure in county history.