02/07/2007

Sting yields two arrests, 150 pounds of cocaine in Fla.

By Michael A. Mohammed
St. Petersburg Times

Tampa police arrested two men with about 150 pounds of cocaine in an undercover operation Monday.

Jose Bernardo Garcia, who uses the alias "El Loco," organized a plan to transport the drug from Brownsville, Texas, to Tampa, jail records state. He was held on $3-million bail on charges of conspiracy to traffic cocaine and importation of cocaine into Florida.

Ifrain Padro-Casado worked with Garcia, police said. He arranged to transport the drugs and forged registration documents for it, according to jail records. He was held on $2-million bail on charges of a continuing criminal enterprise, racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and trafficking in cocaine.

Tampa police said the cocaine had a street value of $7-million.

Police arrested the men after monitoring more than 40 phone calls between Garcia and associates beginning in May 2005, jail records show.

Padro-Casado, 33, lives in Hialeah. Garcia, whose age was not available, lives in Brownsville.

Copyright 2007 Times Publishing Company
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