Rhode Island Man Arrested for Allegedly Smuggling 26 Pounds of Cocaine on Lake Champlain


West Warwick, Rhode Island - Earlier this month, Freddy Rodriguez, a 38-year-old resident of West Warwick, Rhode Island, was taken into custody under allegations of smuggling 26 pounds of cocaine into his kayak on Lake Champlain in Vermont. This incident occurred after he paddled into the U.S. from Canada.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has charged Rodriguez with drug possession with the intent to distribute cocaine in connection with the incident.

According to a statement from federal authorities, upon receiving information about a kayaker crossing into the U.S. from Canada via Lake Champlain, they identified and tracked Rodriguez at a rented camp in Highgate, Vermont on September 18 and into the early hours of September 19.

Agents allegedly witnessed him placing a bag into his kayak. When confronted, Rodriguez attempted to flee but was apprehended. The kayak, as authorities have disclosed, was discovered to be carrying numerous bricks of cocaine.

The federal agents have not confirmed whether Rodriguez imported the cocaine from Canada or if he was retrieving it in Vermont.

If convicted, Rodriguez could face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, with the potential for up to 40 years due to the substantial quantity of cocaine involved in the alleged smuggling operation. The case will be closely monitored for further developments.