Feds hid GPS on car in case involving $400,000 of cocaine

The recent arrest of two men with $400,000 of pure cocaine involved collaboration among federal, state and local agencies and the use of a GPS tracking device on a suspect's vehicle.

Alfredo Parra-Saucedo, 57, of Chihuahua, Mexico, and John N. Dillard, 30, of Dayton, have been charged with conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine, court documents indicate.

Both have been ordered to be detained in area jails while awaiting trial. They are both scheduled for a preliminary hearing Thursday in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

An affidavit written by a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations details how authorities began their probe.

The affidavit written by special agent Albert Upchurch said ICE and the Cincinnati Border Enforcement Security Task Force on Dec. 21 saw a 2005 silver Acura RL with Texas plates at what he wrote was a “known drug trafficking area near the Comfort Inn on Miller Lane.”

The car’s license plate was run through LEADs and found to belong to Parra, who had a home address of El Paso, Texas.

A check with other agencies found that the car had crossed the Mexico border near El Paso at 12:45 p.m. Dec. 18, the affidavit said.

The affidavit said Parra had been investigated as recently as June 2014 for trying to smuggle 70 pounds of marijuana into the El Paso port of entry and investigated in 2014 for trying to smuggle two kilos of crystal methamphetamine.

A subpoena was obtained to get the hotel’s guest list, which showed Parra paid cash for his room and talked about driving for a long time.

Using that information, the criminal complaint said investigators obtained a search warrant to place a GPS on the undercarriage of the Acura.

The complaint said that on Dec. 22, agents followed Parra to a Walmart, where he bought a license plate frame that had an eagle that covered the word “Texas” on the plate.

Investigators also followed Parra to a Golden Corral restaurant, saw him looking around “as if looking for someone or conducting counter surveillance,” according to the complaint.

Later that day, law enforcement observed a Chevrolet Impala licensed to the uncharged driver pull up next to the Acura, with Dillard inside in the passenger seat. The complaint said investigators observed Dillard and the driver go to The Harem gentlemen’s club and later back to Miller Lane.

The affidavit said authorities stopped all three men and let the Impala driver go. Dillard was found to have an outstanding warrant for possession of heroin.

An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper’s K-9 did a sniff of the Acura and alerted to a narcotic odor. Upon inspection, the agent said four kilograms of cocaine were found in hidden compartment in driver side door frame rails.

A Spanish speaking officer asked Parra about his visit, and he responded he had driven from Michigan to Dayton to visit his daughter.

Parra allegedly told investigators he was waiting for his daughter’s husband to get off work at Golden Corral, but he couldn’t give them a name. Investigators also asked Parra where the hidden compartment was, and he denied knowing anything about it and said he wasn’t smuggling drugs.

Dillard has convictions for illegally carrying a concealed weapon, possession of cocaine, burglary and robbery, according to Montgomery County Common Pleas Court records.

Dillard also has an active case in which he’s been indicted for possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and criminal trespassing.

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