BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A Rhode Island man has been charged in Vermont with possessing 26 pounds (12 kilograms) of cocaine with intent to distribute after federal authorities observed him putting packages in a kayak on Lake Champlain, near the Canadian border. , federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said agents encountered Freddy Rodriguez, 38, of West Warwick, Rhode Island, behind a rented camp in Highgate on the night of Sept. 18 and continuing through Sept. 19, according to court documents. Officers say they saw him walking to the shores of Lake Champlain with a bag. After agents learned that a vessel had entered the U.S. lake and was heading south near the camp, they said they saw Rodriguez load items from a bag into a kayak and begin shooting the boat in the water, according to court documents. .
Rodriguez attempted to flee when officers confronted him, but was apprehended. The items in the kayak were brick-shaped packages containing a white powder presumed to test positive for the presence of cocaine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Rodriguez could spend between five and 40 years in prison if convicted. He was released on temporary supervision conditions after a detention hearing on Monday. An email was sent to his attorney seeking comment.