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Published: Saturday, 7/17/2004

Illinois man arrested in turnpike cocaine find

A Joliet, Ill., man was arrested after the Ohio Highway Patrol seized 27 kilograms, or 59 pounds, of cocaine from the car he was driving yesterday on the Ohio Turnpike.

Noe Rodriguez, 37, was stopped for speeding eastbound between Toledo Express Airport and the Reynolds Road interchange about 10:15 a.m. A drug-detecting dog alerted troopers to the cocaine, with an estimated street value of $2.7 million, behind the rear seat of the car, authorities said.

Mr. Rodriguez was charged with possession of cocaine, trafficking of cocaine, and possession of criminal tools. He was being held in the Lucas County jail and is scheduled to appear Monday in Maumee Municipal Court.

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