An accused repeat drug smuggler from California, who claimed to fear for his family’s if he gives up drug trade kingpins, remains jailed in York County after he was caught with two kilograms of cocaine.
Andres Velasco, 19, whose current address is in Charlotte, but who previously lived in San Jose, Calif., was a target of the federal Department of Homeland Security and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Velasco was arrested with the cocaine by York County drug agents May 19, in the parking lot of a convenience store, 16th Circuit Assistant Solicitor Matthew Hogge said in court Monday.
Velasco told police he had been delivering a kilogram or two during each trip to South Carolina, Hogge said in court.
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Velasco told police he had been delivering drugs in both Carolinas from his Charlotte base for three months after moving from California, Hogge told Judge John. C. Hayes III.
Hogge made the statements during a court hearing in which Velasco asked for his $200,00 bond to be reduced.
However, Velasco refused to tell police where the drugs came from or what larger drug organization he worked for, Hogge told Hayes.
“He said they would hurt his family,” Hogge said.
Trafficking cocaine carries a minimum of 25 years in prison with conviction.
Velasco, who has no criminal record, was given a $200,000 bond May 19 by a York County magistrate after his arrest.
Hogge argued that Velasco could be a flight risk and might leave the state if he receives a lower bond.
“He moved here from California for the purpose of selling cocaine,” Hogge said. “If he is released, we may never see him again.”
Velasco said nothing in his first court appearance since he was arrested.
His lawyer, David Cook of Lancaster, said Velasco is a United States citizen, and not a flight risk.
Cook said that although no deal for information has been arranged, he is “amenable to assisting law enforcement.”
Cook said that “both state and federal authorities” would find any information that Velasco could share “very important.”
Hayes denied the request to lower the bond.