State police seize nearly $3 million worth of cocaine in traffic stop

Photo provided by Connecticut State Police

GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut State Police have arrested two men who they say were in possession of 29 kilograms of cocaine.

On Wednesday, state police were conducting traffic enforcement on I-95 north in Groton while CT DOT was mowing in the area. Troopers saw two vehicles weaving in and out of traffic and stopped them both. Troopers say the drivers were identified as two Rhode Island men, 33-year-old Arnulfo Hiciano and 31-year-old Giovanni Carmona.

Giovanni Carmona and Arnulfo Hiciano (Photos provided by Connecticut State Police)
Giovanni Carmona and Arnulfo Hiciano (Photos provided by Connecticut State Police)

Troopers, along with the help of K9 Albert, learned that there were narcotics in the vehicle. Police say Hiciano allowed them to search his vehicle, where K9 Albert found narcotics in two cardboard boxes in the truck. He told police the boxes were not his and let police open the boxes.

In the boxes troopers say they found 29 kilograms of cocaine individually packaged. They say the cocaine carries a street value of approximately $2.9 million.

News8 asked Hiciano’s attorney Donald Williams if there is concern his client might be part of a larger drug ring in the Rhode Island area. “Not that I’ve been made aware of,” he answers.

Hiciano told troopers he was traveling with Carmona, who had also been pulled over. Both men were arrested and charged with failure to maintain established lane, possession of cocaine and possession with intent to sell.

While Carmona has one arrest from Massachusetts for Assault on Police court papers show Hiciano has no criminal record.

“It’s pretty intimidating to come into court,” Williams told us while outside New London Superior Court. “He’s never been here before or to any other court. The prospects of being locked up are horrifying.”

The families of the men hid their faces as they left the courthouse.

Hiciano and Carmona were each ordered held on $25,000 cash bond and will have to turn in their passports once they post it.

“Anytime a person’s been charged with a crime and you can lose your livelihood, you can lose your freedom you’re kind of devastated,” says Williams.

Both cases have been transferred to Part A, where major crimes cases are heard. The men are due back in court on July 26.

Along with the cocaine, troopers also seized $5,472 cash and the two vehicles.

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