CHP reports seizure of kilogram of cocaine

A routine traffic stop ended Tuesday in Merced County with a Washington man behind bars after officers found a kilogram of uncut cocaine in a hidden compartment inside the passenger seat of a vehicle, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Rafael Jurado Figueroa, 31, was booked at the Merced County jail on suspicion of possession of more than a pound of a controlled substance for sale and controlled substance possession. He was still in custody Wednesday with bail set at $110,000, according to booking records.

The CHP stopped a silver 2003 Honda Accord at 12:09 p.m. Tuesday on northbound Highway 99 near Le Grand Road for an unspecified traffic violation, according to a CHP news release.

Officers said Figueroa appeared “extremely nervous” and appeared suspicious. During a subsequent search of the vehicle with a CHP drug dog, officers found an empty hidden compartment and another containing what officers described as a brick of uncut cocaine.

The CHP put the estimated street value of the suspected narcotics at $26,000 to $28,000.

The Merced Multi-Agency Narcotics Task Force assisted with the investigation.

Officers did not say from where they believe Figueroa was coming or where he was headed.