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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


FEBRUARY 7, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


ARIZONA TRUCK DRIVER CHARGED WITH

POSSESSING COCAINE


OFFICERS DISCOVER 57 KILOGRAMS OF COCAINE

WORTH $1 MILLION


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Arizona man was charged in federal court today with possessing cocaine after law enforcement officers discovered 57 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a trailer during a compliance inspection.


            Daniel Miranda, 48, of Arizona, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo.


            According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Miranda was the co-driver and owner of a 2001 Freightliner tractor and a 1996 Maroon trailer that was traveling on eastbound Interstate 44 in Greene County, Mo., on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008. The tractor-trailer unit was stopped by officers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol for a commercial motor vehicle compliance inspection. The officers became suspicious, the affidavit says, and asked for consent to search the tractor-trailer unit.


            An inspection of the trailer, which contained a load of seed, revealed a freshly constructed false front wall, the affidavit says. Located behind the false wall were 57 kilogram-sized packages of cocaine. The packages were wrapped in cellophane, rubber, and an oily substance. A smiley face was embossed into several of the cocaine bricks.


             The estimated street value of the cocaine that was seized is approximately $1 million, according to the affidavit.


            Wood cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David P. Rush. It was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.



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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html