Kidney bean cans allegedly used to hide $1m in cocaine; discovery comes after vehicle stop in Lynn

Two New York men were ordered held on $250,000 bail each after Massachusetts State Police discovered $1 million worth of cocaine hidden in cans of kidney beans when the men were pulled over for speeding in Lynn, State Police said.

The cocaine, roughly 7.2 kilograms, was allegedly being transported by Elvis Rodriguez, 55, and Swinton Acosta, 35, when police pulled them over Monday.

Rodriguez was charged with trafficking cocaine and conspiracy to violate drug laws. Acosta was charged with trafficking cocaine, conspiracy to violate drug laws, speeding, and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a spokeswoman for the Essex County district attorney’s office.

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The two were arraigned in Lynn District Court Tuesday, and a not-guilty plea was entered on behalf of both defendants, Monahan said.

State Police pulled over the car on Western Avenue in Lynn after Acosta was clocked going 44 miles per hour in a 30-mile-per-hour zone, State Police said.

Police learned Acosta was driving with a suspended license after they pulled him over, and they asked Acosta if Rodriguez could drive, to which Acosta allegedly responded he didn’t know his passenger’s name, State Police said.

Rodriguez then told the trooper he couldn’t drive and seemed evasive when asked simple questions, State Police said.

An inventory of the vehicle was conducted before it was towed, and troopers discovered a hidden compartment in the car. A K-9 unit indicated the presence of illegal drugs in the compartment, and troopers found 18 kidney bean cans containing cocaine when they searched further.

A probable cause hearing was slated for both men on Oct. 22.