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Rio Grande Valley trucker caught with 17 kilograms of cocaine

3 days 11 hours 55 minutes ago Friday, May 22 2020 May 22, 2020 May 22, 2020 7:18 AM May 22, 2020 in News - Local
Juan Diego Rendon Jr., 33, of Peñitas is charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. He is shown here in a Hidalgo County jail booking photo from August 2010. (Photo courtesy of the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office.)

The Victoria County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Rio Grande Valley trucker last week, when deputies caught him with 17 kilograms of cocaine, according to court records.

At 9:28 p.m. on May 11, the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office stopped a tractor-trailer on U.S. 59.

The driver, 33-year-old Juan Diego Rendon Jr. of Peñitas, “seemed unsure of his drive times and continually checked his digital log book” before answering questions, according to the criminal complaint against him.

Suspicious, a deputy asked Rendon for permission to search the tractor-trailer.

“During the search, a breather tube was removed from the top of RENDON Jr’s front drive axle revealing what appeared to be a bundle wrapped in plastic,” according to the criminal complaint. “The bundle was then probed and a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine was observed.”

Deputies immediately detained Rendon and moved the tractor-trailer to a secure location for a thorough search.

After removing the drive shaft and the front differential cover of the tractor-trailer, deputies found 17 bundles.

The bundles, which tested positive for cocaine, weighed 17.2 kilograms, according to the criminal complaint.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jason B. Libby set bond at $75,000 with a $1,000 cash deposit required.

Rendon is scheduled for a preliminary examination hearing on May 27.

An attorney who represents Rendon didn’t respond to a call and an email requesting comment.

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