4.4 Lbs. Of Cocaine Found During I-74 Stop
By Mike Perleberg
Interstate 74 in West Harrison, where two sizeable drug busts were made October 16 and 18.
(West Harrison, Ind.) – Interstate 74 may be a major drug corridor between Chicago and Cincinnati, as evidenced by two large drug busts made last week in Harrison and West Harrison.
Eagle 99.3 told you Monday about an estimated more than 100 pounds of marijuana found in an SUV that fled police on the interstate in Harrison last Wednesday, October 16. An Indiana State Police trooper had attempted to stop the SUV and another vehicle near the Indiana-Ohio state line.
Two days later on Friday, October 18, ISP troopers were again patrolling I-74 in West Harrison. According to a court affidavit, a trooper stopped a gold Chevrolet and a black Nissan for following too closely.
The driver of the Chevrolet, Manual Maldonado, 25, of Cicero, Illinois, told police that he was travelling with his friend driving the Nissan to a birthday party in Cincinnati. However, the second driver, Adalberto Raygoza, 25, also of Cicero, denied knowing Maldonado or travelling with him. Both drivers appeared to be nervous, the investigating officer stated in the affidavit.
Troopers received consent to search the vehicles. In the Chevrolet they uncovered in the trunk a box containing two kilograms – or about 4.4 pounds – of cocaine. Both Maldonado and Raygoza then allegedly admitted they were transporting the cocaine from Chicago to a person in Cincinnati waiting for them at a hotel.
Maldonado said he was to receive $70,000 to be taken back to Chicago in exchange for the drugs, investigators said. A man known by the nickname “Ocho” was the intended recipient. Officers with the Hamilton County Regional Enforcement Narcotics Unit came to the scene to assist with the investigation.
Police monitored phone calls made by Raygoza to David “Ocho” Reyes-Valdes, who allegedly requested to meet Raygoza at a residence in Cincinnati. The RENU officers immediately responded to that home and began surveillance, witnessing Reyes-Valdes outside answer phone calls from Raygoza.
Raygoza called Reyes-Valdes, of Cincinnati, to request the meeting location be changed to the parking lot of a restaurant in Cincinnati. Reyes agreed. He was detained by police when he arrived.
RENU officers obtained a search warrant for the hotel room where Reyes-Valdes has been staying in Cincinnati. In the room detectives discovered a scale, bags, food sealer, and multiple rubber bands – item indicative of distributing narcotics.
Raygoza, Maldonado, and Reyes-Valdes are each charged in Dearborn County with Dealing in Cocaine in an Amount Three Grams or More (Class A felony) and Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Cocaine in an Amount Three Grams or More (Class A felony).
Raygoza and Maldonado are held in jail at the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center awaiting their initial appearance in court.
Reyes-Valdes was listed in care of the Hamilton County, Ohio Justice Center, although he did not appear on the jail’s online roster.