NORFOLK, Va (WAVY) — Four men arrested last week at a Newport News auto garage on drug trafficking and conspiracy charges remain in jail. Authorities say they had a large-scale operation to sell cocaine.
Marvin O’Neal Carter, 49 of Newport News, appeared Wednesday afternoon in federal court for a preliminary hearing.
Carter rented the garage on 39th Street where he was arrested with two brothers from California, Daniel and Hilario Rodriguez, and Michael Kuna, of Canada.
A federal indictment says investigators found nearly 120 pounds of cocaine, several guns including two AR-15 assault rifles, and about $1 million in cash. Authorities also found materials consistent with making crack cocaine. The uncut coke has an estimated street value of $2.3 million. Additional cash and heroin was found inside a safe in the garage’s office.
Federal investigators say Carter made a phone call from jail to his girlfriend that led them to an additional search over the weekend. Court documents reveal the scheme involved a secret compartment built into a tractor-trailer that was searched. The truck reportedly made 16 border crossings into Mexico in the past six months.
A federal magistrate judge denied bond for Carter and Hilario Rodriguez. Daniel Rodriguez and Kuna had their cases continued until Monday afternoon in Newport News, but they also remain in jail pending their Monday hearings.
The four men are facing trafficking and conspiracy charges. Each man charged faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison, if convicted.