The inquisitiveness of a West Covina police officer led to the discovery of $32.4 million worth of cocaine in the bed of a pickup truck that was involved in a minor accident.
Officer Al Marinello said he saw a pickup back into a compact car in a shopping center parking lot in the 400 block of South Glendora Avenue Monday night. Deciding to make sure that "everybody was all right," Marinello said, he investigated and detected the smell of alcohol on the breath of truck driver Jose Edward Oden, 30, of Muscoy, Calif.
Marinello then patted down Oden and searched the truck, finding a 9-millimeter pistol and 200 pounds of cocaine in nine sealed packages.
Oden was booked for investigation of possession of a concealed weapon and possession of narcotics for sale. He was being held on $1 million bail.
It was a "fluke," Marinello said of discovering the drug.