WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Two men are facing felony drug charges after deputies with the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office said they discovered about $500,000 worth of cocaine concealed within a car battery during a traffic stop.

Josue Garcia, of El Paso, and Isaias Alvarado, of Wichita Falls, were booked into the Wichita County Jail on Monday, June 5, 2023, each charged with manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in penalty group 1 over 400 grams, a first-degree felony offense.

Both Garcia and Alvarado remain in the Wichita County Jail on a $100,000 bond each.

According to a Facebook post made by the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office, WCSO’s Criminal Interdiction Unit conducted a traffic stop investigation on Monday, June 5, 2023, at about 12:30 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 82 and FM 369 in Wichita County.

The arrest affidavit said a WCSO deputy was monitoring traffic on U.S. 82 near the Archer-Wichita County Line when he observed a brown 2014 Nissan Altima with an expired registration sticker.

Photo courtesy Wichita County Sheriff David Duke

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Garcia and the passenger, who claimed ownership of the vehicle, was identified as Alvarado. The deputy said while speaking with the occupants of the vehicle, he observed factors consistent with narcotics smuggling.

According to the affidavit, Garcia and Alvarado granted the deputy consent to search. A WCSO K-9 unit later arrived at the scene. During an open-air search by the K-9 unit, a deputy advised of a positive alert around the engine compartment of the vehicle.

Photo courtesy Wichita County Sheriff David Duke

The deputy said that based on his training and experience, he believed a large amount of narcotics were concealed in a compartment within the Nissan. Alvarado and Garcia were detained and transported to the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Nissan.

The affidavit said a thorough inspection of the Nissan was conducted, and deputies discovered tampering with the outside case of the car’s battery.

Deputies said they were able to gain access to the interior of the battery via a trap door that had been built into the battery. They said they discovered four large packages inside the battery.

According to the affidavit, deputies cut the packages open, revealing a white powdery substance that later field-tested positive for cocaine.

Wichita County Sheriff David Duke said a smaller battery pack was located inside the shell of the larger car battery, and a jump box was located in the back seat.

According to the WCSO Facebook post, a total of 8.8 pounds, or 4,000 grams of cocaine or 4,000 grams of cocaine were seized by deputies. The estimated street value of the cocaine found by WCSO is $500,000.

WCSO officials said in the Facebook post that Garcia and Alvarado were taken into federal custody in the Wichita County jail pending further federal investigation.