Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008

Minor accident leads to major drug bust in New Carrollton

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A Tuesday evening fender bender led New Carrollton city police to a sizeable drug bust of more than $1 million worth of marijuana.

Police responded to an accident in front of the 7-Eleven convenience store in the 8400 block of Annapolis Road where Rodell Cole, 72, of the 1000 block of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, N.Y., accidentally backed into another vehicle, said Chief David Rice.

After looking up registration on a police car computer and discovering Cole had a suspended New York drivers license, police searched his trunk and found 152.6 pounds of marijuana in eight packages. Rice said the city’s Narcotics Enforcement Division estimated the cost at $1.4 to $1.5 million dollars.

Police believe Cole and an accomplice were transporting up to 298 packs of marijuana because the packages they found in his car were marked with numbers.

Rice said Cole admitted a second unidentified man was with him at the time of the accident but had left the scene. Rice said the only information they have so far is the man is also from New York and left in a gray van. Police are still waiting on additional information based on what Cole is willing to give.

Cole is being held at the Upper Marlboro’s Department of Corrections on charges of driving on a suspended and out-of-state license, possession with intent to distribute, narcotics trafficking and kingpin charges.