SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 15 (UPI) — A California man said mechanics found 19 packages of cocaine worth $500,000 hidden in his minivan more than a year after he bought the van from a dealership.
San Jose psychologist Charles Preston said he bought the 2008 Chrysler minivan from Thrifty Car Sales in Santa Clara for $14,000 in May 2010 and he took it to DHT Collision & Service Center in San Jose about 15 months later for a brake problem, the San Jose Mercury News reported Monday.
The mechanics also offered to look into the reason why the front windows wouldn’t go all the way down. They then removed the door panels to find the bulk of the cocaine and police found five more packages above the back wheels, Preston said
He said police told him he was lucky the cocaine wasn’t discovered during a traffic stop and said he could have gone to jail “for the rest of your life.”
Preston said police recommended he get rid of the van because drug cartel members may be looking for it.
Ron Battistella, the owner of Thrifty Car Sales, said he will replace the van.