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Big rig driver busted after police find 343 lbs of cocaine in trailer

A Canadian man was arrested on Tuesday after the Riverside County District Attorney’s new Organized Crime Unit found $5 million worth of cocaine hidden in the trailer of his big rig.

According to the DA’s Office, the drug bust is believed to possibly be the largest single seizure of cocaine in Riverside County in at least 15 years.

Authorities said 46-year-old Samer Karanouh was pulled over near I-15 and Sixth Street in Norco just after 12:30 p.m. A police canine alerted officers to the truck and they found 156 brick-sized packages of cocaine hidden behind a false compartment wall.

Each brick was equivalent to one kilo. Officials said they seized just over 343 total pounds of cocaine, which had an estimated value of $5 million.

Karanouh was arrested on suspicion of transportation of narcotics for sales and he was booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case.

The massive drug bust stems from a joint agency investigation into Mexican drug cartels believed to be trafficking drugs into the U.S. and specifically into Riverside County, officials said in the release.

The investigation continues and no further information is being released at this time.

KESQ and CBS Local 2 will deliver more details as the case moves forward.

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KESQ News Team

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