A Texas man who was arrested in Simpson County while driving a truck carrying more than 30 pounds of cocaine pleaded guilty Monday to federal drug offenses.
Arne Ewens, 63, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green to possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute.
Ewens was arrested May 20 in Simpson County after an investigation involving the Department of Homeland Security’s Bowling Green Field Office.
DHS Task Force Officer Brad Harper received information that day from the Chicago DHS filed office about a tractor-trailer traveling in the Bowling Green area.
According to a federal criminal complaint, local DHS agents were given a description of the vehicle, trailer and license plate number and located it at a Franklin gas station.
The truck was later stopped at an inspection station on Interstate 65, where Kentucky State Police troopers were given consent to search the vehicle and trailer using a K-9.
The dog alerted to the presence of drugs, and law enforcement recovered 15 bundles of cocaine in a hidden metal container under the bunk of the vehicle, according to federal court records.
During a police interview, Ewens said he had been taking the drugs to a location in Winchester, where he was to call someone and inform them that he had arrived.
“(Ewens) advised that he was to drop off the narcotics and continue on to Ohio to drop off his legitimate cargo load then continue back south to either Laredo or McAllen, Texas,” Harper said in the complaint. “Ewens said multiple times that this was the first time he had transported narcotics and advised that he had never transported money either.”
Ewens told police that he was at a mechanic shop in Texas two days earlier when he was approached about delivering the drugs.
“Ewens advised that he was being paid $1,000 per kilogram of narcotics to deliver it,” Harper said in the complaint.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Yurchisin said 14.948 kilograms of cocaine – nearly 33 pounds – were seized in the investigation.
A federal grand jury indicted Ewens and Ricardo Trejo on conspiracy charges. No court appearances have been set for Trejo.
Federal prosecutors are recommending a penalty at the low end of federal sentencing guidelines for Ewens, who was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond and ordered to return to court Feb. 8 for sentencing.
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