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Troopers find $1.2 million in cocaine in Ruskin woman’s car after traffic stop

Florida Highway Patrol troopers said she acted nervous after they pulled her over, so they summoned a drug-detecting dog.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers say they pulled over Elizabeth Espinoza, 27, in Sumter County and discovered about 26½ pounds of cocaine in her car, which they said is worth $1.2 million. [Sumter County Sheriff's Office | Florida Highway Patrol]
Florida Highway Patrol troopers say they pulled over Elizabeth Espinoza, 27, in Sumter County and discovered about 26½ pounds of cocaine in her car, which they said is worth $1.2 million. [Sumter County Sheriff's Office | Florida Highway Patrol]
Published Jan. 8
Updated Jan. 8

Florida Highway Patrol troopers noticed the woman seemed nervous after they pulled her over on Interstate 75 on Tuesday because her windows were illegally tinted.

So nervous, in fact, that troopers summoned a drug-detecting dog, which alerted troopers that drugs were inside the car.

The result was the arrest of a Ruskin woman on a cocaine trafficking charge and the seizure of about 26½ pounds of the drug — which troopers said is worth about $1.2 million.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers say they pulled over Elizabeth Espinoza, 27, in Sumter County and discovered about 26½ pounds of cocaine in her car, which they said is worth $1.2 million. [Sumter County Sheriff's Office]

The traffic stop was made Tuesday afternoon in Sumter County. Troopers on routine patrol saw a red 2016 Dodge Journey heading south on the I-75 and said they pulled the driver over because of the illegal tint.

Troopers said the driver was 27-year-old Elizabeth Espinoza of Ruskin. Her nervousness prompted them to bring in the dog, which alerted them to possible drugs inside. That gave them the probable cause needed to allow them to search the car, troopers said.

Inside, troopers said they found cocaine “hidden within the dashboard and other voids within the vehicle,” a news release states.

Espinoza was booked into the Sumter County Jail on multiple drug charges, including trafficking. She was being held there Wednesday in lieu of $34,000 bail.

Related: Valet gave keys to $300,000 Ferrari to the wrong guy, lawsuit claims
Florida Highway Patrol troopers say they pulled over a Ruskin woman in Sumter County and discovered about 26½ pounds of cocaine in her car, which they said is worth $1.2 million. [Florida Highway Patrol]

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