Saturday 3 December 2016

US doctor finds 19 bags of cocaine in van he had been driving for 15 months

Independent.ie reporters

Published 16/11/2011 | 13:18

AN AMERICAN man has found 19 bags of cocaine in a second-hand van he bought for $14,000 (€10,300).

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And he only discovered the stash 15 months after he bought the vehicle he had been using to deliver food to homeless people.



According to Silicon Valley website, Mercury News, the car's owner, Dr Charles Preston, found the contraband after taking the vehicle to his mechanic.



The psychologist from San Jose, California, noticed that the windows of the car did not wind all the way down.



His mechanic discovered the cause of the problem - the doors of the van were filled with 14 bags of cocaine.



On searching the police found another five bags were found in the rear panels.



Dr Preston bought the Chrysler Town and Country (Voyager) from a dealership. It at one stage had been a rental vehicle.



He told Mercury News that, even after he turned the drugs into the police, he was scared that the people who planted to cocaine would still try to find it.



"People make jokes: oh, you should have sold it," Dr Preston said. "But honestly, I've never been so scared in my life, even when I was mugged in New York."



Sergeant Jason Dwyer of the San Jose police said the doctor had reason to be worried about his unknown cargo: “It's absolutely dangerous. If somebody is motivated to track down that van and doesn't want any witnesses, then some physical harm could come to the owner. That's a lot of dope to be misplaced."



When Dr Preston brought the van back to the dealership he was offered about $4000 (€2,900) less than he paid. However, the dealer has since offered to swap the vehicle for a "drug-free ride".



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