Man faces charges after cocaine bust

Aug. 14, 2013 @ 05:08 PM

The Lee County Sheriff's Office made one of the biggest cocaine busts in county history on Wednesday morning when it arrested a man reportedly in possession of eight kilograms of the white powder.

Sheriff Tracy Carter said the drugs had a street value of about $1.6 million.

Carter and others involved in the operation declined to give many details about the arrest — including where it happened, other than to say somewhere in the northern part of Lee County at around 8 a.m. Since the investigation is still ongoing, officials didn't want to release too much information yet.

"There's still a possibility for more busts, and for more arrests," said Lt. Bryan Allen, the member of the office's narcotics task force who made the arrest on Wednesday.

Allen wouldn't say exactly how it all came about, although he did say the man arrested — 31-year-old Jorge Luis Meraz-Luna — was charged with trafficking by transportation, trafficking by possession, maintaining a vehicle for sale or delivery of drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Meraz-Luna, who reportedly gave deputies a Spartanburg, S.C., address, will likely be deported after his trial and any potential prison sentence, officials said. His first court date will likely be today. Allen said the man is a Mexican national, from the state of Sinaloa, and was in the U.S. illegally because he had overstayed his visa.

Carter said more information will be available once the investigation — which he said is "a top, top priority" for his office — has finished.