GARDINER, Maine — A Maine State Police K9 wasn’t fooled by a pair of alleged drug traffickers' attempt to disguise more than 4 pounds of cocaine as cake. The cocaine was sniffed out Tuesday on Interstate 295 in Gardiner after the two were pulled over as part of a Maine Drug Enforcement Agency investigation.
According to a release from the MDEA and Maine Department of Public Safety, the MDEA’s South Central Task Force has been investigating a New York City man who was believed to be the man behind distributing “considerable amounts” of cocaine in Central Maine. The man, John Cedeno, 25, was charged in 2015 by the MDEA for trafficking heroin.
The MDEA received information this week that led agents to believe Cedeno and Chelsea Cochran, 33, of Winslow would be traveling to Maine in an Audi.
On Tuesday, agents found Cochran driving in the car with Cedeno in the passenger seat on the Maine Turnpike.
They were pulled over on I-295 in Gardiner and a drug sniff by a state police K9 indicated there were drugs in the trunk. Police found approximately 4 pounds of cocaine disguised as cake. Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson Shannon Moss said the cocaine was wrapped in cellophane and had coffee ground sprinkled on top, which Moss said is often a tactic used by drug traffickers to hide the scent from drug-detecting K9s.
“This photo is just one example of the lengths drug traffickers will go to conceal their cargo,” Moss said.
Agents believe the drugs were being transported into Maine to be distributed throughout Kennebec and Somerset Counties. The cocaine has an estimated street value of $200,000.
In addition to the drugs, around $1,900 in cash, which MDEA agents believe to be from illegal drug sales, was seized.
Cedeno and Cochran were taken to the Kennebec County Jail and charged with Aggravated Trafficking in Schedule W Drugs, a Class A offense. Cedeno’s bail was set at $750,000, and Cochran’s was set at $50,000. Both are expected to make initial court appearances Wednesday, the MDEA said.
The Winslow Police Department, Maine State Police, and Homeland Security Investigations assisted the MDEA in their investigation. The MDEA said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are possible.