HAMMOND — Troopers uncovered nearly half a million dollars worth of cocaine during a Wednesday morning traffic stop near Hammond, according to State Police.
About 10 a.m., a trooper pulled over a Nissan Rogue for a traffic violation, said Trooper First Class Dustin Dwight, a State Police spokesman.
During the stop, troopers became suspicious of the driver, Michael Mendez, 51, of Houston. He consented to a search of his vehicle, Dwight said in a news release.
State Police found 15.5 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a secret compartment within the vehicle, as well as a semi-automatic handgun, Dwight said. They estimate the value of the drugs at over $450,000.
Mendez was arrested on one count each of felony possession of over 400 grams of cocaine and possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance.