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Police allegedly find 143.3 pounds of cocaine in vehicle

On May 5, a 53-year-old man was taken into custody after state police in Illinois allegedly found more than 140 pounds of what is believed to be cocaine in his vehicle. Police estimated the value of the drugs to be more than $1 million.

The man was driving a rental truck on I-70 near St. Elmo in the afternoon when a trooper pulled him over for traffic violations. The cocaine was discovered at that time.

The investigation was conducted with the help of the Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force and the Fayette County State Attorney's Office. The man was taken to the Fayette County Jail where he has been charged with one preliminary count of controlled substances trafficking. This is a Class X felony, and the minimum penalty if he is convicted is 30 years in prison.

Drug charges can be serious whether they involve trafficking, manufacture or distribution or just possession. A person should not assume that penalties for possession of a small amount of drugs will necessarily be light. Furthermore, any type of drug conviction could lead to other consequences such as being unable to work in certain professions or to get student financial aid. A person facing drug charges might want to consult an attorney. In some cases, evidence may be dismissed. A substance might be sent away to a lab for testing and turn out to be a legal substance. However, if the test does come back and say a substance is a drug, it is possible the lab could have made an error. Law enforcement might also have lacked probable cause to conduct a search for drugs.

Source: Herald-Review, "State police: 143.3 pounds of cocaine seized during I-70 traffic stop near St. Elmo", May 7, 2018

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