One from Antioch among five arrested in major cocaine bust

Kevin Hernandez of Antioch

Kevin Hernandez of Antioch

A two-month drug trafficking investigation led by the Major Case Task Force assigned to the Specialized Investigations Division led to Wednesday’s seizure of 47 kilograms (103.4 pounds) of cocaine valued at more than $2 million and the arrests of five men who are charged with engaging in a cocaine distribution conspiracy.

The cocaine originated in Mexico and was destined for the streets of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

Jailed in lieu of $500,000 bond are:

•    Kevin Hernandez, 39, of Hamilton Church Road, Antioch;
•    Mauricio Francisco Valdez, 37, of Cedar Crest Drive, Nashville;
•    Gildardo Roque (also known as Ruben Vicente), 37, of Cynthia Court, Mt. Juliet;
•    Gerardo Luis Vale-Lopez, 32, of Laurel Cove, Lavergne; and
•    Ricardo Jerome Lang, 45, of Vanderhorst Drive in Nashville.

In April, detectives developed information that Hernandez, Valdez, Roque and Vale-Lopez had arranged for and received more than 60 kilograms of cocaine.  The investigation ultimately revealed that most of the cocaine was being stored inside a vehicle at the rural Tranham Road property of an unsuspecting relative of one co-conspirator.  On Wednesday afternoon, while conducting surveillance, detectives stopped Ricardo Lang just after he left the Tranham Road property and recovered two kilos of cocaine from his car.  Lang is alleged to be one of the local distributors to street dealers.  After the stop, TBI and DEA partners in this investigation assisted in the execution of 6 search warrants in Nashville, Rutherford County and Wilson County.  Located at the Tranham Road property were 45 concealed kilos of cocaine.  Also seized Wednesday were $26,112 cash, 3 rifles and 3 pistols.

Interestingly, Lang was convicted in a felony cocaine case in February of this year and was received a probated 10-year sentence.  Roque was convicted in a felony cocaine case in 2006 and received a sentence of 13 years, six months.  Hernandez was arrested in a 2000 felony marijuana distribution case and received a sentence of 15 years.