Mexico Man Arrested on Drug Charges in Benton County Sunday
MINDEN TOWNSHIP -- A man from Mexico was booked into the Benton County Jail after a traffic stop turned up drugs early Sunday morning.
A tipster called the sheriff's office at approximately 1:30 a.m. to report a vehicle driving down the wrong way on Highway 23 east of St. Cloud.
A deputy arrived and noticed the vehicle had temporary plates from Arkansas and was driving well below the speed limit. The officer also saw the vehicle swerve dramatically back and forth over the fog line before making a traffic stop.
The sheriff's office says the driver, 32-year-old Luis Alberto Mares Rodriguez of Cadereyta Jimenez, Mexico told the deputy he was in the United States on a visa to conduct business. Rodriguez told the officer he had traveled to St. Cloud from Minneapolis and was looking for a cheap hotel. He indicated he had flown to Houston Texas about a week ago and drove to Arkansas and then changed vehicles before driving to Minnesota. Rodriguez then said he was leaving St. Cloud soon to go to Nashville, Tennessee.
The officer said Rodriguez had no visible luggage, gave inconsistent answers to questions, and showed other indications consistent with a drug trafficker.
A Sauk Rapids Police dog was called to the scene and alerted officers to the presence of drugs in the vehicle.
A search turned up a softball-sized package of cocaine, about $10,000 cash, drug paraphernalia, a small amount of methamphetamine, and a ledger indicating previous drug sales.
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