Burlington, Vermont – Freddy Rodriguez, 38, of West Warwick, Rhode Island, faces 40 years in prison after he was charged with possession with intent to distribute 26 pounds of cocaine when federal agents caught him kayaking near the Canadian border.
According to court documents, federal agents encountered Rodriguez behind a rented camp in Highgate, Vermont the night of September 18 into September 19, 2023. Agents observed Rodriguez walking to the shore of Lake Champlain at approximately 12:05 am carrying a bag. After agents received notice that a vessel had entered the United States on the lake traveling south near the camp’s location, they observed Rodriguez transfer objects from his bag into a kayak, and began to drag the kayak into the water. When agents confronted him, Rodriguez unsuccessfully tried to flee. The objects Rodriguez had loaded into the kayak were brick-like objects wrapped in black cellophane-style packaging containing a white powder that tested presumptively positive for the presence of cocaine. The packages and their contents weighed approximately 12.2 kilograms (approximately 26.4 pounds).
As presently charged, Rodriguez faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment and up to 40 years’ imprisonment for the possession of more than 500 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute it.
Rodriguez initially appeared before Magistrate Judge Doyle on September 20, 2023, and a detention hearing was delayed until September 25, 2023. Rodriguez was released on conditions of pretrial supervision at the conclusion of the hearing on September 25, 2023.
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