Switch-a-roo: Authorities replace drugs in car with replicas, later arrest two suspects in WI

Local News

(Getty Images)

(WFRV) – A semi-tractor towing a car carrier trailer was headed for Milwaukee but was pulled over in Kansas, and authorities found packages containing fentanyl and cocaine.

According to court documents, on June 13, a Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper stopped a semi-tractor that was carrying multiple vehicles, including a 2013 Nissan Cube. Underneath the floorboards of the Nissan Cube, the trooper found electronic-controlled compartments.

Inside the compartments packages containing a total of 16 kilograms of fentanyl and 14 kilograms of cocaine were found. The packages were reportedly being sent to Milwaukee.

Authorities seized the actual fentanyl and cocaine and placed replica kilogram-shaped packages back in the compartments. Authorities then arranged the transport of the Nissan Cube to the delivery location in a parking lot in Milwaukee.

On June 17, authorities saw two subjects enter the Nissan Cube and then drive away. Officers tried to stop the vehicle, but the vehicle tried to flee at a high rate of speed before crashing in Bayside.

Both of the subjects then fled on foot, but were later arrested by authorities.

The two suspects were both from California and were 24-year-old Daniel Rodriguez-Lara and 41-year-old Richard Chavez. Both were charged with conspiring to distribute and attempting to possess with intent to distribute kilogram quantities of fentanyl and cocaine.

If convicted both men will face a mandatory minimum of ten years and a maximum of life in federal prison.

“As this case demonstrates, drug traffickers utilize a variety of concealment methods to bring their deadly goods to our communities,” said Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Milwaukee District Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge John McGarry.

Multiple agencies across the country helped investigate this case, including:

  • Kansas Highway Patrol
  • Colorado State Patrol
  • Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office
  • North Central High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Others

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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