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FBI special agents on Friday arrested a Brownsville man who they accuse of smuggling 88 to 110 pounds of cocaine to Louisiana and Florida.

Luis Canales is charged along with Jesus Martinez and Luis Cortez Marquez with conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

A criminal complaint said the investigation began during a controlled delivery in Port Allen, Louisiana on Sept. 18, 2023 when a confidential source received a little more than 26 pounds of cocaine.

This confidential source, who is a prior informant with Louisiana State Police, had been purchasing narcotics from Canales since 2020, according to the complaint.

“Canales moves approximately 40 to 50 kilograms of cocaine at a time for the Gulf Cartel from the border in Brownsville, Texas to Florida,” the complaint stated. “Canales has several customers in route to Florida, including Louisiana, to whom he delivers cocaine to.”

The complaint said the cocaine is transported in tractor-trailers and Canales trails the loads in a separate vehicle.

“Canales makes the trips with the cocaine because he speaks English and is responsible for the money end of the transaction,” the complaint stated.

On Feb. 27, the confidential source and Canales began discussing the purchase of 22 pounds of cocaine to Hammond, Louisiana.

The FBI has 14 recorded calls between Feb. 27 and March 17 between the confidential source and Canales discussing “the price, availability, and logistics” of the delivery.

The day of the delivery was scheduled for March 17 and the agreed price was $14,500 per kilogram, according to the complaint.

Canales did not go on this trip, but instead sent a courier.

During the exchange, Marquez, who was driven by Martinez, handed the confidential source a trash bag containing approximately 13 pounds of cocaine and the source gave Marquez $8,000 “in Government funds for their participation in the delivery as well as (a) taped package that was represented to be $76,000 but was in fact vacuum sealed packages containing small amounts of U.S. Currency.”

The bricks tested positive for both cocaine and fentanyl.

After the controlled delivery, Louisiana State Police conducted a traffic stop and arrested Martinez and Marquez, according to the complaint.

Canales was scheduled to make a first appearance Monday morning in Brownsville federal court in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Betancourt.