SCITUATE, R.I. -- Rhode Island authorities investigating large drug shipments from the West Coast seized nearly $8 million in money and cocaine and arrested three men, including one from South Ogden, Utah, in what the state police said Wednesday was believed to be the largest drug bust in state history.
State Police say the 66 kilograms of cocaine recovered had an estimated street value of $6.6 million.
The three men -- two from California and one from Utah -- are being held without bail at the state prison, authorities said. They were arrested following a monthslong investigation into shipments of drugs into Rhode Island, and state police say they used a tractor trailer and tow truck to transport the cocaine.
The arrested men were identified as: Adilson Antonio Reyes, 29, of South Ogden, Utah; Rodrigo Armando Saucedo, 31, of Hacienda Heights, Calif., and Andrew Rios, of Downey, Calif.
State police say their investigation started in September from a tip that Reyes was involved in a drug-dealing organization and was staying at a Rhode Island hotel. A tractor trailer registered in his name was seen several times over a few months going to and from a little-used storage facility in North Kingstown, though police say they never saw him driving the vehicle.
Reyes was arrested Saturday at a hotel in West Greenwich, while Rios and Saucedo were arrested at the storage facility.
Thirty-five kilograms of cocaine were found inside the tow truck at the storage facility, and 31 were seized in a hidden compartment inside a Chrysler Pacifica. The arrests were carried out by the State Police and by a Drug Enforcement Administration task force.
The three men were arraigned Monday at the Washington County Courthouse and are being held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institution. They have been charged with drug possession and conspiracy to sell drugs.
Artin Coloian, a lawyer for Saucedo and Rios, declined to comment Wednesday but said his clients have not yet entered pleas. The case is expected to be presented to a grand jury for an indictment.
It was not immediately known who Reyes' lawyer is, though Coloian said he believed Reyes was represented by someone at the public defender's office. A phone message there was not immediately returned Wednesday.