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Two Charged in 154 Pound Cocaine Seizure Destined for East Coast

Two Southern California men were charged today in a federal narcotics case stemming from their involvement in a conspiracy to transport 70 kilograms of cocaine from California to North Carolina.

Bobby Ray Palacios, 40, of Buena Park, and Jose Carlos Rios, 43, of Pomona, were arrested Friday night after delivering 154 pounds of cocaine to an undercover operative working under the direction of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Palacios and Rios are scheduled to make their initial court appearance in United States District Court this afternoon after being named in a criminal complaint filed this morning. The complaint charges both men with two counts – conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute and possession of more than five kilograms of cocaine with the intent to distribute.

According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, Palacios approached a DEA confidential source who is a truck driver and asked him to transport 80 kilograms of cocaine from Bloomington, California, to North Carolina. The DEA source met with Palacios last Thursday and received instructions on picking up the “load” – which was now 70 kilograms – on Friday. Palacios promised to pay the source $800 per kilogram of cocaine that was transported to North Carolina.

The complaint alleges Rios met the source in Bloomington on Friday. Rios arrived in a vehicle with a hidden compartment that concealed 70 kilograms of cocaine. Rios was taken into custody in Ontario after he delivered the cocaine to the DEA source. Palacios was in the vicinity of the narcotics handoff, and he was taken into custody in Downey after he left the Bloomington area.

A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Each of the two counts in the criminal complaint carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum penalty of life.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration – Riverside District Office, the Chino Police Department and the California Highway Patrol.


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