Driver Busted With 70 Pounds Of Drugs

Cocaine, Heroin Found In Tractor-Trailer Traffic Stop

Posted: March 1, 2014

HARRISONBURG — A tractor-trailer driver is behind bars following a traffic stop in Rockingham County last month that police say yielded more than 70 pounds of cocaine and heroin.

George Henry Covarrubaiz, 38, whose home addresses are listed as Tijuana, Mexico, and Compton, Calif., is charged with two felony counts of transporting drugs into Virginia and two felony counts of drug manufacturing.

On Feb. 3, a special agent with the Virginia State Police’s Criminal Interdiction Unit stopped Covarrubaiz’s tractor-trailer along Interstate 81 in Rockingham County, just south of New Market. Police say the northbound truck was pulled over around noon near mile marker 262 because of an equipment violation.

During the stop, a police dog alerted the officer that drugs were located in the truck. Inside, police say they found roughly 48 pounds of cocaine and 22 pounds of heroin.

Police say the drugs have a street value of more than a half-million dollars, making the seizure among the largest in Rockingham County history.

Covarrubaiz, who is being held without bond at Rockingham County Jail, is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing in Rockingham County General District Court on March 20.

This is at least the second largest drug bust the interdiction team has made in Rockingham County during the last year.

On Wednesday, a New Jersey man accused of smuggling about 8 pounds of cocaine through Rockingham County, pleaded guilty in Rockingham County Circuit Court.

Joe Sanchez, 35, of Jersey City, N.J., pleaded guilty to felony transporting drugs into Virginia and felony drug possession. As part of a plea deal, Judge Bruce Albertson sentenced Sanchez to 26 years in prison with all but four years suspended.

A trooper with the interdiction unit stopped Sanchez last March for speeding at mile marker 258 on northbound I-81, near Mauzy.

During the search, the agent found the cocaine in a compartment inside the engine area.

Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or pdelea@drnonline.com



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