News and Press Releases


May 25, 2010

BIRMINGHAM - A federal grand jury today indicted a Texas man on charges related to the May 13 seizure of 99 kilograms of cocaine from a tractor-trailer he was driving on Interstate 20/59 in Tuscaloosa, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gregory Borland announced.

In a one-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court, the grand jury charged JOSE HERRERA, 46, of Weslaco, Texas, with possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. If convicted, HERRERA faces the possibility of life in prison and a $4 million fine.

“The Alabama State Troopers who participated in this investigation are to be praised for intercepting such a large amount of cocaine before it could be distributed on our cities’ streets,” Vance said. “Drug seizures of this size have a profoundly negative impact on the finances of the illegal traffickers,” she said.
“When law enforcement broadly envisions its job to protect and serve, public safety is strengthened,” said Col. J. Christopher Murphy, director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety. “In this case, a routine commercial vehicle safety inspection by Alabama State Troopers led to a significant seizure of cocaine. Thanks to our partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the exceptional cooperative work of the DEA drug task force and U.S. Attorney’s Office, we have succeeded in removing 99 kilos of cocaine from the distribution network and obtaining this trafficking indictment,” Murphy said.

According to the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint when HERRERA was arrested, the cocaine was found in hidden compartments of the tractor-trailer he was driving.

The case was investigated by officials with the Alabama State Troopers and the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Felton.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only charges.  A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.


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