Mexican man arrested for drug trafficking in Benton County on Sunday

MINDEN TOWNSHIP – A man from Mexico has been held in Benton County Jail after a traffic stop revealed drugs early Sunday morning.

An informant called the sheriff’s office at around 1:30 a.m. to report a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction on Highway 23 east of St. Cloud.

An assistant arrived and noticed that the vehicle had temporary Arkansas plates and was traveling well below the speed limit. The officer also saw the vehicle swerve dramatically back and forth over the fog line before coming to a stop.

Sheriff’s office says driver, 32, Luis Alberto Mares Rodriguez from Cadereyta Jimenez, Mexico, told the MP he was in the United States on a visa to do business. Rodriguez told the officer he had traveled to St. Cloud from Minneapolis and was looking for a cheap hotel. He said he drove to Houston, Texas about a week ago and drove to Arkansas, then changed vehicles before heading to Minnesota. Rodriguez then said he was soon leaving St. Cloud for Nashville, Tennessee.

The officer said Rodriguez had no visible baggage, gave inconsistent answers to questions and showed other indications consistent with a drug dealer.

A Sauk Rapids police dog was called to the scene and alerted officers to the presence of drugs in the vehicle.

A search uncovered a packet of cocaine the size of a softball, approximately $ 10,000 in cash, drug paraphernalia, a small amount of methamphetamine, and a record of previous drug sales.

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