The alleged kayaking coke dealer faces federal charges that could land him a minimum of five years in jail.
Freddy Rodriguez, 38, of West Warwick, Rhode Island, has been charged by criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Rodriguez initially appeared in federal court September 20, and a detention hearing was delayed until September 25. Rodriguez was released on conditions of pretrial supervision at the conclusion of the hearing on September 25.
According to court documents, federal agents encountered Rodriguez behind a rented camp in Highgate, Vermont the night of September 18 into September 19. Agents observed Rodriguez walking to the shore of Lake Champlain at 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 saw 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 12.2 kilograms (approximately 26.4 pounds).
Rodriguez faces a five year minimum sentence if convicted.