67 Kilos of Cocaine Seized in a Drug Operation in Panama

By Dialogo
June 10, 2009

Panama, June 8 (EFE) - Agents of the Panamanian National Police (PN) seized today a total of 67 kilos of cocaine and 17 packets of unspecified quantity of marijuana in a police operation, an official source reported. In the bust, called "Operation Road-Runner," a Panamanian, Julio Cesar Rodriguez Villarreal was arrested, after a car chase and exchanged gunfire with police units in the area of Veracruz, 13 kilometers west of the capital. Rodriguez was arrested after crashing his car into a patrol vehicle that assisted in this operation, the PN said in a statement. In the exchange of gunfire, an unidentified police officer was wounded in the arm, and Rodriguez was hit by bullets in the abdomen; both were taken to a hospital to receive medical attention. Rodriguez, 33, was captured with 67 kilos of cocaine in four sacks and 17 packages of marijuana. Inside the car was also found a 9 mm pistol with 12 bullets. The National Police said they keep a continued search for one of Rodriguez’s accomplices, who is on the run. The arrested and seized drugs were placed at the authorities’ disposal, and the investigations into the case continue, said the official source.