Man Buys Used Van, Finds Big Surprise - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Man Buys Used Van, Finds Big Surprise

AOL.COM - Every car owner aspires to own the top-of-the-line model, one that comes with options the neighbors don't have.

But few wish for the extras a California man found in his used minivan. San Jose, Calif., psychologist Charles Preston found $500,000 worth of cocaine hidden in the door panels of his used Chrysler Town & Country 15 months after he bought the car, when his car was in the shop having its brakes examined, the Mercury News reported.

The vehicle, which Preston purchased for $14,000 from Thrifty Car Sales in Santa Clara, Calif., had defective windows. That's because the cocaine was in the way, according to the Mercury News.

During the car's time in the shop, a manager at San Jose's DHT Collision & Service Center noticed something was wrong with the insulation in the window panel. It turned out to be the drugs wrapped in cellophane.

The cops confiscated the drugs hidden in the window panels, the paper said, along with the packages found in the wheel wells. Police told him to get rid of the car, fast, in case the drug runners were still looking for it, the paper said.

There are no suspects yet, and tracking them down may take some time since the minivan previously belonged to a rental car agency.

But he's not driving it anymore. The owner of Thrifty Car Sales originally agreed to buy back the van for $4,000 less than Preston already paid, but ultimately decided to replace Preston's vehicle with a drug-free ride.

Sgt. Jason Dwyer, a San Jose police spokesman, told the Mercury News that based on the packaging, he suspected the cocaine had been a long haul, maybe from another state or from across the Mexican border.

Preston told the Mercury News that he used the van to transport food he buys for the needy in his area, but feared he might be tracked by a drug cartel.

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