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By Brian Fraga
Standard-Times staff writer
November 01, 2008 6:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD - A traffic stop Friday in the South End resulted in an arrest and seizure of three kilograms of cocaine.
The cocaine was packaged in a manner consistent with having been smuggled into the country, police said. Its total out-of-pocket value was estimated at $90,000 to $120,000.
Police arrested Wesley Jiminez Perez, 21, of 195 Cedar St., New Bedford, and charged him with trafficking cocaine in excess of 200 grams. He will be arraigned Monday in District Court.
Mr. Perez was arrested just after 3 p.m. when K-9 Officer Dean Lawrence stopped a taxi cab in which Mr. Perez was a passenger.
Officer Lawrence stopped the cab on Route 18 at Potomska Street because the vehicle had a rejection inspection sticker, said New Bedford police spokesman Lt. Jeffrey P. Silva.
The taxi driver gave Officer Lawrence and his K-9 partner permission to search the cab. The officer was then told that Mr. Perez and a female passenger had boxes in the trunk, Lt. Silva said.
The passengers told Officer Lawrence they did not want to remove the boxes, but said they did not mind if the dog searched them because there was nothing illegal in them, police reported.
However, the dog gave a strong indication to Officer Lawrence that there were illegal narcotics in the boxes. Officer Lawrence opened the boxes and found the estimated three kilograms of cocaine, Lt. Silva said.
Officer Lawrence determined that neither the taxi driver nor the female passenger had any involvement with the suspected cocaine.
However, Mr. Perez was arrested and transported to police headquarters for booking.
At headquarters, the drugs were weighed and field-tested, which preliminarily confirmed the substance as cocaine and the weight at three kilograms, police reported.
Lt. Silva said the out-of-pocket expense for a kilogram of cocaine has risen over the past year and is currently between $30,000 to $40,000.
However, when the cocaine is mixed with other compounds so the purity can be reduced and repackaged for street level sales, the street value is many times higher than the per-kilogram price, Lt. Silva said.
Mr. Perez faces a mandatory 15-year state prison sentence and a minimum $50,000 fine if convicted.

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081101/NEWS/811010373
 

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WOW, great stop. I have been saying to myself for a while now that taxi and livery vehicles are the way to move product without detection. What do the courts say about interaction with passengers of these types of vehicles?
 

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WOW, great stop. I have been saying to myself for a while now that taxi and livery vehicles are the way to move product without detection. What do the courts say about interaction with passengers of these types of vehicles?
Technically, the passenger of said taxi or livery vehicle has hired that car for his/her transport and thusly in control, except the actual violation committed by the driver.

But when a K-9 officer stops a taxicab? That's probably from a big 'ol dime that somebody dropped on Mr. Passenger and his product. Just a guess.
 

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But when a K-9 officer stops a taxicab? That's probably from a big 'ol dime that somebody dropped on Mr. Passenger and his product. Just a guess.[/quote]

I was thinking that as well. Great work either way.
 
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