Nanak Singh, third from left, and Chandra Prakash, center right, attend a hearing in which thei ...

Bail set at $500K for duo nabbed with 230 pounds of cocaine in Las Vegas

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Bail was set at $500,000 each on Tuesday for two men nabbed with more than 200 pounds of cocaine they were allegedly hauling in a freight truck carrying produce.

The 230 pounds of the drug that were found Friday were wrapped in bags and boxes found on top of a load of tomatoes, the Metropolitan Police Department wrote in an arrest report released Tuesday. Metro set the estimated street value of the drugs at more than $10 million.

“Two hundred pounds of cocaine is enough to supply thousands of people in this community,” Deputy District Attorney Eckley Keach told the court. “It perpetuates the drug and the drug effects of addiction and drug crime that have reverberations across this jurisdiction.”

Keach said it was one of the biggest drug busts in Nevada in recent memory.

Nanak Singh, 29, of California, and Chandra Prakash, a 31-year-old India national, were arrested Friday and booked into the Clark County Detention on felony drug-trafficking-related counts.

That afternoon, an officer driving on Interstate 15 spotted a white semitrailer traveling at “various speeds” and failing to maintain a lane, police said.

The officer followed the truck for 7 miles and pulled it over near the St. Rose Parkway exit.

The officer described the driver, Singh, as being “extremely nervous” and having “cottonmouth,” at one point asking for water, the report said.

Singh told police they were driving from Los Angeles, and were on the way to Michigan to deliver the tomatoes, according to the arrest report.

He said Prakash was a “co-driver” and “a cousin of his best friend,” the report said.

Metro dispatched “Nuggetz,” a narcotics police dog that detected a possible smell of drugs, the report said.

Asked if there were drugs in the trailer, Singh said he “didn’t know,” the report said.

Through a Hindi interpreter, Prakash told Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum that he had traveled to the U.S. two months ago “to visit, to just look around.”

Asked where he worked, Prakash said he was an athlete with India’s “national shooting team.”

Melissa Navarro, Prakash’s public defender, asked for a $30,000 bail, noting that her client, who was only a passenger, “can very well be innocent.”

“I think with the amount of drugs that were found in the vehicle, you’re a danger to the community,” Baucum told Prakash, denying the request to lower bail.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for April 12.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @rickytwrites.

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