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Two men charged Tuesday morning in the largest cocaine seizure in the history of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office were remanded to federal custody and will have a detention hearing and preliminary examination at 10:30 a.m. on July 24 in Raleigh.

Documents filed in the electronic court record show Andrew Richard Rodarte and Luis Enrrique Arroyo-Jiminez appeared before Magistrate Judge Robert T. Numbers II.

An interpreter was present and sworn and the men were appointed a federal public defender.

The defendants were advised of their rights, charges and maximum penalties. They were remanded to the custody of United States Marshals pending the hearing set before Magistrate Judge James E. Gates.

According to a criminal complaint and affidavit contained in the court record, which was submitted Tuesday afternoon by a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, the men face charges of possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and aiding and abetting.

According to the criminal complaint members of the DEA conducted an investigation on Monday of suspected drug traffickers in Halifax County.

As part of that operation, investigators observed a mobile home in the 9000 block of Aurelian Springs Road in the Littleton area.

During the operation a semi-truck arrived at the residence. The driver of the vehicle was later identified as Rodarte.

Investigators then observed several individuals exit the residence and approach the vehicle. “These individuals then accessed the sleeper compartment of the vehicle and unloaded several large duffel bags,” the complaint says. “Those bags were taken inside the residence. Rodarte then departed the residence in his vehicle.”

Rodarte left and arrived at a truck stop on Highway 903 outside Halifax. “Subsequently, investigators approached the vehicle, knocked on the driver's door, and located Rodarte. No other occupants were inside the vehicle.”

During what was described in the document as a consensual, noncustodial encounter, Rodarte gave inconsistent and untruthful answers regarding his prior whereabouts. “Indeed, Rodarte denied being present at the residence shortly before.”

Based on this and other information, investigators obtained a search warrant for the residence. The warrant was executed during the early morning hours Tuesday. “Upon entry of the home investigators located Arroyo-Jiminez as well as an adult female and three juveniles. Inside a bedroom closet, investigators found four large duffel bags. These bags were consistent with those previously observed being unloaded from Rodarte’s vehicle.”

Banking correspondence found amongst the bags was addressed to Arroyo-Jiminez and inside each bag investigators located approximately 20 kilograms of cocaine for a total of 80 kilos. The substances were later field tested and the results were positive for cocaine. 

Arroyo-Jiminez made no statements, according to the affidavit.

Meanwhile, investigators reapproached Rodarte and confronted him with the evidence seized at the residence. “At that time, Rodarte admitted to transporting the seized cocaine and having done so on at least five prior occasions to other locations.”

A subsequent  search of his vehicle yielded approximately $2 million in bulk United States currency.

Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp had no comment this morning.