Agents of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force and agents of the York County Multi jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit conducted a joint operation yesterday, Wednesday, September 28, 2016, which culminated with the arrest of Alex Vicente Soto-Godinez, age 36, of Pineville, North Carolina. Soto-Godinez is charged with Trafficking Cocaine 400 Grams or More and Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana.
Soto-Godinez operates Alex’s Auto Care, LLC, at 1081 Fort Mill Highway, Indian Land. Task Force agents received information that illegal drugs were present at the business. Surveillance was established at approximately 7:00 a. m. yesterday morning. Soto-Godinez was not present,but agents expected him to return to the business. Soto-Godinez arrived later driving a Honda Odyssey van. Agents spoke with Soto-Godinez, and a York County drug K-9 alerted on the van. Based upon their conversation with Soto-Godinez, the K-9 alert, and other information that had been obtained,agents obtained search warrants for the business and the van.
A search of the business produced approximately 1.6 kilograms of a substance suspected to be cocaine, a littleover 2.5 pounds (1160 grams) of a substance suspected to be marijuana,$3,651.00 cash, and other drug related items including packaging materials.
A preliminary search of the van at the scene produced nothing unusual. The van was towed to the Lancaster County Vehicle Maintenance Shop for a more thorough search. Agents found concealed within the van 12packages of a compressed substance also suspected to be cocaine. Each package weighed approximately a kilogram, and the total weight seized from the van is approximately 12kilograms. The street value of 13.5 kilo grams of cocaine is well in excess of a million dollars.
“We appreciate the assistance we received from our partners with the York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit,” said Sheriff Barry Faile. “They worked hand-in-hand with us through the conclusion of the operation late yesterday afternoon. We had to move quickly on this, and the results were phenomenal. We were able to charge Soto-Godinez with the highest level cocaine trafficking offense our law provides, and I believe we made the largest seizure of cocaine in the history of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. We kept a lot of cocaine from hitting the streets yesterday.”
Sheriff Faile continued, “The success of law enforcement efforts often depends upon cooperation between agencies. The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office has entered into Law Enforcement Assistance and Support Agreements with many sheriff’s offices and police departments throughout the state. These agreements allow agencies to share intelligence, manpower, and equipment to investigate matters which often cross jurisdictional lines, as was true in this case. Clearly, had our agreement with York County not been in place, this arrest and the seizure of these drugs might not have occurred.”