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Driver pleads guilty in cocaine bust

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POLSON — In District Court Thursday, Oct. 29, Miguel Douglas Miranda, 22, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, changed his plea to guilty of criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute.

He is being held on $1 million bail.

Court documents state that drugs were discovered June 4 when a Montana Highway Patrol trooper stopped the truck Miranda was driving on Highway 93 because the truck did not have proper fenders or mud flaps as required by law. 

Miranda consented to allow the troopers to search the truck, which was done with the help of a K-9 partner. The dog alerted on the bed of the truck, where an MHP trooper noticed what appeared to be a hidden compartment under the truck bed concealed by aftermarket custom body work. 

After securing a search warrant, the truck was seized and taken to a secure storage facility, where MHP officers were joined from the Mission Mountain Drug Task Force. Officers were able to activate a hidden motorized unit that lifted the truck bed, revealing a hidden compartment containing 40 1-kilogram packages of cocaine with an estimated street value of between $1.1 and $1.3 million, according to website calculations for street value of cocaine in Montana.

Sentencing is set for Dec. 17.

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