NEW: Accused Drug Smuggler Charged Federally
A tractor-trailer driver accused of smuggling more than 70 pounds of cocaine and heroin now faces federal charges, according to documents filed in Rockingham County Circuit Court that dismissed local charges.
George Henry Covarrubaiz, 38, whose home addresses are listed as Tijuana, Mexico, and Compton, Calif., was charged with two felony counts of transporting drugs into Virginia and two felony counts of drug manufacturing.
Those charges were dismissed on Tuesday.
Covarrubaiz is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg on Thursday to face federal charges. Those charges remain sealed.
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, because of a bad light.
A police dog alerted the officer that drugs were located in the truck, police say. Nearly 48 pounds of cocaine and 22 pounds of heroin were found inside. Prosecutors say the drugs were found in the truck’s battery compartment.
During previous court hearings, prosecutors said, the defendant possessed a knife that had the markings of a Mexican drug cartel on it.
The defendant has denied knowing the drugs were located inside the truck.
Covarrubaiz is being held without bond in Rockingham County Jail.