Traffic stop yields nearly half-million dollars worth of cocaine
HAMMOND - Nearly half a million dollars worth of cocaine is off the streets after a traffic stop near Hammond Thursday morning.
Shortly after 10:00 am, a Louisiana State Trooper stopped a Nissan Rogue on Interstate 12 west of Interstate 55 in Tangipahoa Parish for a traffic violation. According to the State Police, during the traffic stop, the trooper became suspicious of possible criminal activity and requested to search the vehicle.
Troopers recovered a semi-automatic handgun and more than 34 pounds of cocaine worth over $450,000.00 concealed in a hidden compartment within the vehicle.
Michael Mendez, 51, of Houston, Texas was arrested for felony possession of cocaine over 400 grams and possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance.