Powder cocaine found in cereal box during traffic stop, deputies say

More than 500 grams of powder cocaine found, Putnam County deputies say

Efren Zuniga, Jose Moreno (Photos courtesy of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office).

CRESCENT CITY, Fla. – More than 500 grams of powder cocaine was found in a cereal box during a traffic stop in Crescent City, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said they stopped a vehicle on Highway 17 South and Paradise Shores Road because of a faulty equipment violation.

Deputies identified the people inside the vehicle as Efren Zuniga, 19, who is believed to be a Mexican national, and Jose Moreno, 24, of Lake Whales.

A deputy walked his K-9 partner, Axel, around the vehicle during the traffic stop. Deputies said after Axel alerted to the presence of a narcotic odor coming from within the vehicle, deputies searched the vehicle.

A Honey Grahams box was found stuffed into a duffel bag on the back seat during the search. When deputies opened the cereal box, they discovered 514 grams of powder cocaine, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The amount of cocaine has a street value of $14,000 to $16,000, deputies said. Zuniga also had cocaine in his pants pocket.

"Because of the thoroughness of the deputies involved in this traffic stop, a great deal of drugs never made it to the streets of Putnam County," Sheriff Jeff Hardy said.

Zuniga and Moreno are charged with trafficking in cocaine. Deputies said they are being held in the Putnam County Jail on a bond of $150,000.

About the Author:

Troy Blevins is a Digital Content Editor who has been with Graham Media Group since 2012.