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Grand jury indicts Calif. man on cocaine possession counts



Published: Thu, August 29, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



PITTSBURGH -- A federal grand jury has indicted a California man accused of having 44 pounds of cocaine in the vehicle he was driving in Mercer County.

A Pennsylvania State Police trooper picked up Edward F. Caraballo, 25, of North Hollywood, Calif., on Interstate 80 Sunday.

He and a passenger in the minivan he was driving were turned over to federal authorities along with the 44 pounds of cocaine found in a hidden compartment beneath the rear floor of the vehicle.

The grand jury indictment was handed up Wednesday, charging Caraballo with possession and conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine. The 44 pounds equals about 22 kilograms.

The indictment named Caraballo as the sole defendant. His passenger wasn't charged.

What happened

State police said the minivan was stopped for speeding in the eastbound lanes of I-80 in Pine Township. A subsequent search of the vehicle turned up the cocaine.

Caraballo faces at least 10 years in prison and could get as much as a life sentence if convicted. He also faces a fine of up to $4 million.




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