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IMPD: Semi driver arrested hauling estimated $13 million in cocaine

Mauro Alonzo-Vargas, of Texas, was transported to the Hendricks County Jail, police said.

HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. — A semi driver from Texas was arrested for allegedly transporting roughly 130 kilos of cocaine through central Indiana last week, IMPD announced Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, IMPD interdiction detectives received information about a shipment of narcotics that was going to pass through Marion County. Detectives were able to locate the alleged suspect vehicle, a semi trailer, on I-70 at the 64 mile marker in Hendricks County, IMPD said.

"Everybody had areas that they were checking out and luckily for us, we spotted the truck at the rest area just west of Plainfield. He was doing his required down time after driving all day, and he actually had a legitimate load that was due the next morning to be delivered in Plainfield," said Sgt. Paul McDonald, IMPD Criminal Interdiction Unit.

During their investigation, detectives used narcotics K-9 Mina to identify a narcotics odor. 

"Anybody searching that trailer, even some trained officers would have a very difficult time spotting that compartment. They were so good at constructing it," McDonald said. "They just dropped the ceiling about four inches and were able to make an access point and put the drugs into the ceiling between the top of the trailer roof and the inside wall of the trailer."

Officers contacted the driver, later identified as 50-year-old Mauro Alonzo-Vargas of Ennis, Texas, and a search warrant was eventually granted for the semi-tractor and trailer.

Detectives located around 130 kilos (roughly 285 pounds) of suspected cocaine, which IMPD said has an estimated street value of $13 million. 

Alonzo-Vargas was arrested and transported to the Hendricks County Jail.

The Hendricks County Prosecutor's Office will make a final charging decision in the case.

“This investigation indicates the great work of our Interdiction Detectives and the partnerships they have formed with other agencies to locate and remove illegal narcotics off the streets," IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said in a statement. "IMPD continues to dedicate resources to combat crime with technology and the support of our community.”

Anyone with additional information on the incident is asked to contact Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477.

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