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Feds to Look Into Now-Bigger Drug Bust

The Leon County drug bust is now a federal case.

Priciiano Villanueva remains in a Leon County jail, and is now being held without bond. The drugs he's charged with transporting Tuesday have been taken to a DPS crime lab. And now that they've made it there, investigators have determined that the bust was even bigger than first thought.

It's not uncommon for there to be a discrepancy between how much authorities believe they have, and how much they actually have. In this case, they actually had a lot more.

After being weighed at that DPS crime lab, authorities now say the Mexican national was carrying 474 pounds of cocaine -- 100 pounds more than originally thought.

Villanueva was stopped by DPS on I-45 Tuesday, but fled the scene. He eventually wrecked his vehicle, then went to a home and stole another, only for that one to break down. He was eventually captured near Flynn after search dogs found him.

In all, police say Villanueva was carrying five duffel bags holding 170 packages of coke. It hasn't been determined whether he was going to distribute the stash himself or was acting as a courier for others.

To give you a better perspective on this, let's convert that 474 pounds to kilograms, which is 215, or 215,000 grams. Cocaine is distributed by the kilo or gram, and much like any other product, if you buy in bulk, you'll get a better deal.

Authorities tab the street value of a kilo of cocaine as $15,000. If you're selling by the gram on the streets, it's between $80 and $100.

If Villaneuva's cocaine was to be distributed by the kilo -- in bulk, if you will -- that would put the street value of his goods at over $3 million. However, were he to have unloaded it by the gram, the street value is approximately $19.35 million dollars.

In speaking to authorities Thursday, they say they have a good idea where Villanueva was headed, but are still investigating. He was going south on I-45, which means the next big city he was going to hit was Houston.

I-45 is known by authorities to be a route travelled by many drug traffickers.


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