Despite frequent busts, truckers keep moving cocaine north

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública/Guillermo Solano Anti-drug officers do the heavy work after finding packages of cocaine in the body of a trailer.

The penalty for international drug smuggling can be 20 years in prison. The usual term is more like eight years. But that does not seem to stop truckers who try to evade detection at the Peñas Blancas border crossing.

The latest case was Tuesday night when anti-drug police inspected a tractor trailer loaded with candy heading from Panamá into Nicaragua. They found 224 kilos of cocaine hidden in a compartment in the trailer.

The Guatemalan operator of the Honduran-registered vehicle, identified by the last names of Pacheco Godoy, was taken into custody. He was jailed to await an interview with a prosecutor. He is 51.

Anti-drug agents have found false walls in trailers behind which were stashes of cocaine. Recently they found cocaine hidden in the roof of a truck cab and even in the tires of another vehicle. So far this year, the Policía de Control de Drogas said its agents have confiscated 8,600 pounds of cocaine at the border crossing and at other points in the country.

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