LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's officials announced on Thursday that two illegal aliens are being held and charged with cocaine smuggling, as well as illegally entering the country.
The bizarre story started on January 16 when authorities received a call from the two men - 30-year old Carlos Hurtado-Valois of Venezuela and 47-year old Felipe Gonzales Valencia of Columbia. They told the Sheriff's office that they were stranded on an island during cold, rainy weather.
The men were soon rescued and were taken to a waiting ambulance. They were treated and were released to the U.S. Border Patrol.
A CPSO detective soon learned that one of the men had previously been deported several times, and had been convicted of smuggling drugs.
Authorities decided to go back and search the island where they were rescued from. The next day, they went back to the location to search the area. They found two life jackets, plastic bags, rope, and eight duffel bags with cocaine wrapped in balloons.
The eight duffel bags had a total of 176 kilos of cocaine inside, with a street value of just over $6 million - which makes this one of the largest, if not the largest, cocaine busts ever in Calcasieu Parish.
Both men are currently being held at a facility that houses Immigration Customs Enforcement detainees.
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