Man caught with $450K in cocaine pleads guilty
— A man caught with nearly 10 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $450,000 during a traffic stop near North East is facing up to 25 years in prison after accepting a plea deal.
The defendant, Andy P. Tineo, 31, of New York City, pleaded guilty to importing cocaine into Maryland during a hearing on Thursday, as part of a plea deal in which prosecutors dropped two related charges against him.
Cecil County Circuit Court Judge William W. Davis Jr. accepted Tineo’s guilty plea and ordered a pre-sentencing investigation.
As of Friday, a sentencing date for Tineo had not been scheduled.
Assistant State’s Attorney Perry J. Seaman and Tineo’s defense lawyer, Elisabeth Maxwell Hellwig, negotiated the plea agreement.
Tineo was driving a Ford Taurus in the southbound lane of Interstate 95 near
North Eas t about 7:30 p.m. Aug. 4 when Maryland State Police Sr. Trooper Ryan McNeely stopped the vehicle for speeding and following too closely, police reported.
McNeely dispatched a K9 unit after noticing “numerous indicators of criminal activity” while conducting the traffic stop, police said. A specially trained scent dog alerted to the presence of illegal drugs while scanning the outside of the car, and that led to a search by investigators, police added.
Investigators found an “aftermarket electronicallycontrolled false compartment,” which was in the car’s center console, according to police. Searchers found four “large rectangular packages,” commonly called “bricks” in the drug world, and they contained a total of 4,490 grams of cocaine, which translates to 9.89 pounds, police reported.
McNeely also arrested and charged Tineo’s frontseat passenger, Rigoberto Ramos Jr., 30, of Bronx, N.Y., with importing cocaine into Maryland, possession of a large amount of cocaine and other related offenses.
Ramos is scheduled for a Feb. 21 jury trial, court records show.
This police photo shows nearly 10 pounds of cocaine investigators confiscated during a traffic stop near North East on Aug. 4. The man charged is now facing up to 25 years in prison after accepting a plea deal Thursday.