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Records: 28-year-old Edinburg man stashed cocaine inside child's pants during traffic stop

Jose Rocha III was charged with manufacture or delivery of substance, a second-degree felony; tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony; and endangering a child, a state jail felony. (Photo courtesy of the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office)

An Edinburg man successfully concealed cocaine from police during a traffic stop—by stashing it in a child's pants, according to court records.

An investigation began after police received a tip through Edinburg Crime Stoppers regarding drugs being sold out of a home in Edinburg. After nearly two months of surveillance, police identified 28-year-old Jose Rocha III of Edinburg as a suspect.

On Oct. 26 at about 6:30 p.m., police observed Rocha arrive at the home, then leave minutes later in a maroon Lincoln Towncar. Police subsequently stopped the Towncar for a traffic violation, and say Rocha had a woman pick up two children inside the vehicle, a 9-year-old boy and a two-year-old child.

During an "open air sniff", a K9 alerted to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle, but no narcotics were found. Police say the K9's behavior suggests that narcotics had been inside the vehicle prior to contact, according to records.

Two days later, police learned that the 9-year-old boy "admitted that Jose had hid a baggie with white powdery substance under his pants in the groin area as they were getting pulled over by police," according to the criminal complaint.

Police later found the stash —approximately 1.2 grams of cocaine— in a drainage pipe in an alley, where the 9-year-old boy says he hid it.

Rocha was charged with manufacture or delivery of substance, a second-degree felony; tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony; and endangering a child, a state jail felony.

A judge set bond at $175,000.

Rocha remains in the Hidalgo County jail and couldn't be reached for comment.

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