Suspects charged in Wayne Co. $2.5 million drug bust

Suspects charged in Wayne Co. $2.5 million drug bust

WAYNESBORO, MS (WDAM) - Wayne and Jones County drug investigators arrested two suspects in connection to a $2.5 million cocaine bust in Wayne County Wednesday.

Berenice Benitez-Jaramillo of Houston, Texas, and Penaloza Sanchez of Morelia, Mexico, were stopped at a safety checkpoint on Strengthford/Myrick Road around 3:30 p.m.

Jaramillo and Sanchez made their initial appearances in court Thursday and were charged with one count each of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Bonds have not been set.

Jaramillo and Sanchez will have a preliminary hearing on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. in federal court.

A total of 70 kilos of cocaine was discovered in two different locations on the pick-up.  Thirty-two kilos were found in sheet rock mud boxes, and another 40 kilos were found in a hot water heater.

The suspects were booked into the Federal Jail in Hattiesburg by DEA agents Thursday morning after spending the night in the Wayne County Jail.

"We have only been in office two months, but I think we have been successful in sending a message that we are serious about cleaning up the roads and streets of Wayne County," said Wayne County Sheriff Jody Ashley. "I also want to thank Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge and his deputies for their help in the matter."