Out of state trucker ordered to prison for carrying cocaine

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 54-year-old man has been sent to federal prison following his conviction of trafficking 75 kilograms of cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Legusta Juaquim Rodan, De Valls Bluff, Arkansas, pleaded guilty Aug. 1.

Today, U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr. ordered Rodan to serve 87 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, the court noted that Rodan participated in a pattern of conduct in narcotics trafficking as opposed to being caught up in a one time event.

On Sept. 10, 2020, law enforcement inspected Rodan’s vehicle at the Falfurrias Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint. At that time, they discovered 75.5 kilograms of cocaine and 400 kilograms of marijuana in his tractor trailer.

The trailer contained wooden pallets full of cartons of raspberries. After a K-9 alerted to a drug scent, authorities found 43 bundles of drugs hidden below the pallets and cartons of fruit.

Rodan will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and BP conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Lindenmuth prosecuted the case.