Calif. man convicted in Missouri cocaine case

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A California man who was caught in Missouri with cocaine and more than $1.4 million in cash has been convicted on federal drug charges.

The U.S. Attorney's office says 42-year-old Fresno resident Efrain Orozco was convicted Tuesday. A jury in Springfield found him guilty on one count each of possessing cocaine and crack cocaine with intent to distribute.

Orozco was a passenger in a tractor-trailer driven by Fernando Gutierrez-Ponce, of Farmington, N.M., when the Missouri Highway Patrol stopped the vehicle on Interstate 44 near Springfield in March 2010.

Authorities said a search of the truck turned up nearly three kilos of cocaine, more than 55 grams of crack and 62 bundles of cash totaling more than $1.4 million

Gutierrez-Ponce pleaded guilty earlier this month to possessing cocaine with intent to distribute.


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