09/29/06 — Duplin law officers seize cocaine, halt marijuna operation

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Duplin law officers seize cocaine, halt marijuna operation

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on September 29, 2006 1:48 PM

It's been a successful run recently for the Duplin County Sheriff's Department.

First they discovered an elaborate indoor operation to grow marijuana in Magnolia, and then a routine traffic stop near Warsaw led to the seizure of five kilos of cocaine.

Earlier this week, after stopping Rodrigo Uriostegui Nava of Raleigh for speeding, deputies performed a search of his car.

With the help of drug dog Miko, cocaine residue was found in two hidden compartments underneath the 1997 Cheverolet Malibu. The car was impounded, but since no drugs were found, Nava was not taken into custody.

The next day, though, as Miko and the deputies performed another search on the car, a third hidden compartment holding the five kilos of cocaine was found in the car's console. The street value of the five kilos is estimated to be about $500,000.

Nava, an illegal alien, is missing.

He is wanted on three counts of trafficking of cocaine and one count of maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance. His last known address is 4904 Six Forks Road, Raleigh.

A reward is being offered by the Duplin County Sheriff's Department at (910) 296-2150 for any information leading to his arrest.

Because Nava is an illegal alien, the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshal Service, and U.S. Attorney General's office all are involved with the search.

Also, recently, the Sheriff's Department raided a mobile home that had been gutted and outfitted to grow marijuana indoors. A total of 47 plants, with a street value of about $56,000, were seized. Carlos Sanchez of 105 Treatment St., Magnolia, is being held in the Onslow County jail under a $1 million bond for unrelated drug charges. He was arrested in Onslow County for possession of three grams of cocaine and four pounds of marijuana for purpose of sale. In Duplin County, Sanchez has been charged with manufacturing marijuana and posession of marijuana with intent to sell and deliver. Because of the sophistication of the mobile home operation, other suspects are being sought.