Covington – Yesterday morning, shortly after 6:20 a.m., Louisiana State Police troopers performed a traffic stop on a 2005 Peterbilt 387 eastbound on Interstate-12 in St. Tammany Parish. During the traffic stop, Troopers became suspicious of criminal activity and requested consent to search the vehicle. Once consent to the search was granted, soldiers were able to locate and seize 55 kilograms of suspected cocaine.
The market value of this amount of cocaine is estimated at $5.5 million. After discovering the illegal narcotics, Troopers arrested 32-year-old Melvin Contreras (Mount Vernon, New York) and 40-year-old Pedro Sarante (New York, New York) on drug-related charges. Soldiers followed up with federal partners at the Department of Homeland Security and the matter was referred to federal authorities. Both Contreras and Sarante were incarcerated at St. Tammany Parish Jail.
Louisiana State Troopers will continue to provide the citizens of Louisiana with a safer community through proactive drug law enforcement and cooperative efforts with local and federal law enforcement agencies. Soldiers will target local and multi-state drug trafficking organizations by enforcing all state and federal laws governing the illicit manufacture, distribution, sale, and use of drugs.