A Texas man is accused of drug trafficking after Rowan County authorities say they found more than 300 pounds of marijuana Tuesday in a tractor-trailer hauling mangoes.
Authorities estimated the value of the drugs at $253,600, though said it could fetch more than $700,000 if sold by street-level dealers in small amounts.
Hermilo Gomez Jr., 41, of Edinburg, Texas, is charged with two counts of trafficking marijuana, along with conspiracy to traffic marijuana and one count of maintaining a vehicle for controlled substances. He was being held under a $100,000 secured bond in the Rowan jail.
The Rowan Sheriff’s Office said the drugs were discovered after detectives spotted a “suspicious” tractor-trailer at a truck stop in the county. The truck had a Texas registration, and was traveling from the southwest border to New York, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
Investigators asked the driver, who was identified as Gomez, for permission to search the tractor-trailer. He consented, the sheriff’s office said, and 317 pounds of marijuana was found hidden in the refrigerated trailer among the mango.
Detectives said they believed the drugs were headed to customers in the Rowan area.
Rowan authorities said Tuesday’s arrest involved investigators from seven other agencies, including the federal Department of Homeland Security, state Bureau of Investigation and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.