Landrum police net $750k cocaine bust
Published 7:07 pm Thursday, March 18, 2010
What began as a traffic stop for someone following too closely ended in the biggest drug bust in the Landrum Police Department’s history.
The department confiscated 12 kilos of cocaine with an estimated $750,000 street value.
“This was by far the largest amount,” Landrum Police Chief Bruce Shelnut said.
Two women from Colorado, who said they were on their way back from Columbia, S.C. visiting family with three children in the car, were arrested and charged with trafficking cocaine last month.
According to the police report, officer Jason Coffin stopped the vehicle for following too closely along I-26, and after noticing unusual behavior, asked to search the vehicle.
Ofelia Rodriguez-Ornelas, 35, and Francisca Perez-Reyes, 33, of Colorado Springs, Co. were both arrested and charged with trafficking cocaine over 400 grams and trafficking cocaine over 28 grams, first offense. Rodriguez-Ornelas, the driver, was also charged with following too closely.
They are both in custody at the Spartanburg County Detention Center. The children were taken into department of social services custody, due to the closest family member being located in Colorado.
The police report states the driver rifled through papers and the car appeared to be lived in with pizza boxes and miscellaneous food on the floor. Coffin received consent to search the vehicle and the departments K-9, “Bruno” hit on the vehicle.
Officers found the packages of cocaine in a false compartment in the trunk of the vehicle.
Landrum Police Chief Bruce Shelnut announced the bust to Landrum City Council last week.
He referred to the day as “Good Friday” because the department earlier in the day also made an arrest and confiscated drugs from a school bus driver.
S.C. Transport Officer R.B. Cooper assisted the arrest and the Landrum Police Department contacted I.C.E. out of Greenville, S.C.
The women are thought to be illegal immigrants, Shelnut said. They were not given a bond and are still awaiting trial at the Spartanburg County Detention Center.
The vehicle, a 2005 Honda, was seized as well as $1,000 in cash and three cell phones.
Landrum will be able to sell the vehicle and get a portion of the cash back for the departments use.