Tracy resident Juan Alvarez, 31, pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles courtroom Monday to charges of possessing nearly a half-ton of cocaine with the intent to sell.
Alvarez was arrested Sept. 16 on The Old Road near Stevenson Ranch Parkway after he was initially pulled over by a California Highway Patrol officer for driving without a seat belt and for having dark-tinted windows.
Alvarez was detained when it was discovered that he was driving with an expired license. But when a CHP officer noticed that his dog became excited when he approached Alvarez’s truck, authorities knew something was up.
A search revealed that Alvarez’s Toyota pickup bed was loaded with boxes packed with 400 kilos of cocaine, worth an estimated $40 million on the street.
Alvarez is being held in lieu of $5 million bail, and he is scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom Oct. 25 for a preliminary hearing.