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Mexicali national arrested in cocaine bust

July 22, 2011|By SILVIO J. PANTA | Staff Writer

CALEXICO — A Mexicali resident faces drug charges following his arrest earlier this month in connection with the seizure of 18 kilograms of cocaine, a press statement from state Attorney General Kamala D. Harris reported.

The suspect, Hariberto Armenta Gamez, was arrested July 10 on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance with intent to sell and transporting a controlled substance into the state, the press statement read. The estimated worth of the cocaine was placed at $360,000.

Armenta is suspected of driving a vehicle authorities followed in the case for which he is being detained in county jail with bail set at $1 million. The state Attorney General’s Office gave no information as to why the announcement about Armenta’s arrest was made public more than a week after it occurred.

Special agents with the Department of Justice, who had information about possible drug trafficking activities, caught sight of a vehicle crossing into the U.S. from the Calexico downtown Port of Entry, the statement read.

The agents and sheriff’s deputies followed the suspicious vehicle that headed north before the driver got pulled over in Brawley. A drug-sniffing dog was used on the unidentified vehicle where authorities found a hidden compartment containing the cocaine wrapped in red tape, the statement reported.

Staff Writer Silvio J. Panta can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at spanta@ivpressonline.com

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