$1.6M worth of cocaine found in Naples man’s truck

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NAPLES, Fla.- Collier County narcotics detectives uncovered a suitcase carrying 45.9 kilograms of cocaine in a Naples man’s truck Tuesday night.

Joseph E. Daniels, 58, is facing charges for trafficking in cocaine after authorities served a search warrant on his vehicle at a storage unit near the 3800 block of Mannix Drive, off Collier Boulevard.

The suitcase full of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.6 million, was hidden in the bed of the pick-up truck, deputies said.

“This is a large bust, no question about it. Probably one of the largest busts we’ve seen in many years,” said Capt. Tom Storrar.

Robert Mobley, an owner of another storage unit nearby, witnessed the take down.

“He seemed real nice and I didn’t know he had any other history,” said Mobley, adding he’d seen Daniels working on swamp buggies and boats at the storage facility for the past three years.

Daniels told authorities he had picked up the suitcase in Fort Myers and was supposed to deliver it to the Miami area, according to his arrest report.

Daniels added he was to receive $10,000 for delivering the drugs, authorities said.

In the arrest report, officials say Daniels was also arrested previously in 1985 for the importation of 28,000 pounds of marijuana. During what the Drug Enforcement Administration named “Operation Everglades,” Daniels was caught as part of a large-scale operation smuggling the drugs from Colombia.

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