CAERNARVON — State police confiscated a backpack holding $30,000 along with a kilo of cocaine after pulling over a minivan on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in southern Berks County, authorities said today.
The driver, Josue B. Marroquin, 28, of Staten Island, N.Y., was arrested on drug-trafficking charges during the traffic stop Monday about 3 p.m. in the eastbound lanes near the Morgantown exchange in Caernvaron Township, according to court records.
He was committed to Berks County Prison in lieu of $250,000 bail after arraignment late Monday before Senior District Judge Thomas M. Gauby Sr. in Reading Central Court.
According to the criminal complaint:
A trooper assigned to Operation SHIELD, or Safe Highways Initiative for Effective Law Enforcement, in an unmarked patrol vehicle stopped the minivan with New York registration plates for a window tint violation. The vehicle was occupied by three men from New York.
The trooper observed several signs of potential criminal activity and asked the driver, Marroquin, for his consent to search the vehicle. Morroquin provided written consent.
A search revealed a backpack containing a vacuum-sealed bag of cocaine and the cash. Marroquin admitted the backpack was his and said it contained $30,000 and the cocaine.