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A resident of Spring Valley, New York, arrested in September of last year, recently pleaded guilty to first-degree cocaine possession with intent to distribute. The man was brought up on drug charges after the cocaine was found in his car during a traffic stop.

The 24-year-old man has admitted that he was providing transportation for the drugs from California to New York. He said he was paid $15,000 to move the cocaine, which authorities said had a street value of almost $750,000.

New Jersey police discovered the drug offense when they pulled his car over after it allegedly made an unsafe merge, almost hitting another vehicle. Police were looking for cars involved in the transportation of drugs through their state when they stopped the young man.

During the traffic stop, police asked for and were given the man’s consent to search his car, where they found 24 kilograms of cocaine, packaged for sale. During the search, police apparently spotted a recessed compartment in the man’s car, beneath the back seats. Police say that the hidden storage space was ajar and the police could see packaging material inside. 

The man’s girlfriend, 32, also from Spring Valley, was in the car at the time of his arrest. She pled guilty to interfering with the arrest. She has been sentenced to probation. The man’s plea bargain includes a recommendation that he serve 10 years for drug trafficking, with no hope of parole for over three years.

There are a number of rights that motorists have when they are pulled over by police. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of these rights. Before speaking to police or entering a plea, drivers should seriously consider speaking with an attorney who can examine the traffic stop and determine if the motorist’s rights were violated during any search of his or her vehicle.

Source: Rockland County Times, "Spring Valley, N.Y., Man Pleads Guilty To Possessing 24 Kilograms Of Cocaine Seized From His Car By The New Jersey State Police,” May 15, 2014

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