Deputies find 1.5 pounds of cocaine in secret compartment of truck

Juan Francisco Benavides
Juan Francisco Benavides

Deputies arrested a Texas man in the transporting of a sizeable amount of cocaine in a secret compartment of his pickup truck Monday.

Juan Francisco Benavides, 43, of Houston, faces a charge of possession with intent to sell narcotics.

Hancock County sheriff’s Commander Jeremy Skinner said Benavides was pulled over on Interstate 10 near the Diamondhead Exit early Monday.

Members of the Sheriff’s Criminal Interdiction Unit searched Benavides’ truck and discovered a hidden compartment that contained about 1.5 pounds of cocaine, Skinner said.

Skinner estimated the street value of the stash at $22,000. The 1.5 pounds of cocaine recovered from Benavides is about two-thirds of a kilogram. A kilogram of cocaine is worth about $30,000 to $33,000.

Benavides is being held in the Hancock County Jail in lieu of a $30,000 bond. He was also issued a traffic citation for careless driving.

Wesley Muller: 228-896-2322, @WesleySMuller