Monday (May 2, 2022) morning, shortly after 6:20 a.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police made a traffic stop on a 2005 Peterbilt 387 eastbound on Interstate-12 in St. Tammany Parish. During the course of the traffic stop, Troopers became suspicious of criminal activity and requested consent to search the vehicle. After consent to search was granted, Troopers were able to locate and seize 55 kilograms of suspected cocaine.
The street value of this amount of cocaine is estimated at $5.5 million. After discovering the illegal narcotics, Troopers arrested 32-year-old Melvin Contreras (Mount Vernon, New York) and 40-year-old Pedro Sarante (New York, New York) for drug related charges. Troopers followed up with federal partners at the Department of Homeland Security and the case has been referred to federal authorities. Both Contreras and Sarante were booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail.