Elderly housing resident charged with cocaine trafficking

$150K in cocaine found in Pedro Rodriguez's apartment, police say

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A 74-year-old was arraigned Monday in Taunton District Court on charges that include trafficking cocaine and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Taunton Police told the Taunton Gazette they seized three pounds of cocaine valued at $150,000, a pound of marijuana, and an extensive coin collection from Pedro Rodriguez’s apartment on Friday. They told the Gazette the coin collection was likely a way to launder the proceeds of drug deals.

Rodriguez, a resident of Richard Dewert Terrace in Taunton, was arrested on Friday, according to the Gazette.

Police told the Gazette they had observed Rodriguez’s behavior and determined his daily routine was consistent with dealing drugs on the street level.

Neighbors told Eyewitness News they were shocked by the events.

Susan Carreiro explained, “If I needed a jump on [my] car, he’d give me a jump and vice versa. Everyone loved him here.”

Susan Amaral is Rodriguez’s next-door neighbor.

“The three years I’ve lived here, he’s [been] very very helpful,” she said. “He sings and skips. He takes care of himself.”

Amaral had a hard time believing Rodriguez is capable of committing the crimes he is accused of. “But even if he was, I wouldn’t care. I like the guy that much,” she added.

According to the Taunton Gazette, when police confronted Rodriguez outside his apartment on Friday with a search warrant, he told them to go inside. Police seized the drugs, coins, and the suspect’s car.

Rodriguez’s bail was set at $50,000. He is scheduled to appear in court on April 11.