Local News

Drug Bust on Tour Bus Nets $3.2M in Cocaine

Posted July 20, 2007
Updated July 21, 2007

— Wake County sheriff’s officials credit luck, hard work and well-trained officers for making one of the largest drug busts in Wake County history Friday.

Deputies found 70 pounds of cocaine, worth about $3.2 million on the street, packed inside the back tires of a tour bus from Texas.

Authorities noticed the bus after it ran a red light at the intersection of Wakefield and West Gannon streets in Zebulon at about 2 p.m. Friday. A narcotics canine searched the bus, and deputies discovered 32 kilos of cocaine in the tires.

Sandy Sprague watched the scene for hours from her window.

“They just seemed to not give up, and look what they found. To get that off the streets is wonderful,” Sprague said.

Investigators took two men on the bus into custody.

Gerardo Vilchez, 48, of Houston, Texas, and Victor Hugo Lopez, 33, of Grand Prairie, Texas, were charged with felony trafficking by possession, felony trafficking by transportation, felony maintaining a vehicle and felony conspiracy, officials said.

Both men were held on $4 million bond, authorities said. Their first court appearance is scheduled for Monday.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said he doesn't know where the drugs came from or where they were going. He's just glad the drugs and the suspected traffickers are off the streets.

“That’s all they’ve got to do is try to fool the law,” he said. “And thanks to these guys right here, they didn’t fool us.”

Harrison noted that this was the largest drug bust since he became sheriff in December 2002.


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  • Mrs. Fabulous Jul 23, 2007

    Hooray!! Get that mess off of our streets!!!! WTG cops!!!!

  • bluedevil2007 Jul 23, 2007

    Way to go!!!!

  • rafiki Jul 23, 2007

    If I know I have something like this in my tire why on earth would I want to violate any traffic rules. I would do everything to reach my destination first, I bet you they were high as anything can be. Please don't get high on your supply, you become stupid.

  • rafiki Jul 23, 2007

    That's what you call vacation ride......high throughout the trip!

  • rafiki Jul 23, 2007

    I hear they are from Spain.

  • OALA Jul 23, 2007

    jmcnugg- drugs effect everyone. From family members to neighbors to property owners, so it does effect you- wake up and look around.

  • Tom Morrow Jul 23, 2007

    but the issue is that the "war on drugs" is like the "war on terror"... it is a nameless, faceless enemy that the gubment could (and might) pour ALL of our tax dollars into trying to stop and will never succeed. Then there's also the school of thought that the government actually allows some of the drugs into the country to begin with.......

  • moglinferno Jul 23, 2007

    Awesome - getting that off the streets. I personally think that the "war on drugs" is justified for hard drugs. As far as pot, legalize it!!! I swear the world would be a happier place, not so many bitter people who have no care about anyone except themselves. We'd all get along much better.... :)

  • AFLOWERS Jul 23, 2007

    Great job on getting that cocaine off of the streets. !!! Per the story "They just wouldn't give up" Thanks to the officers that just wouldn't give up !!!

  • mythoughts22 Jul 23, 2007

    "the war on drugs is stupid": that is sad that people feel that way because even though it isnt effecting you this second God forbid one day you or someone u care about gets hurt or killed because someone who used this stuff decided to drive somewhere. so in my opinion it effects all of us everyday and each bust prevents the drug dealers from selling that stuff to everyones children