NASHVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Two men from New York were arrested Tuesday morning after Nash County deputies found cocaine and more than $62,000 stashed in a hidden compartment in their car, a news release said.

Deputies were working along Interstate-95 in Nash County “with the primary focus of detecting criminal activity and ensuring the safety of the motoring public.”

Nash County deputies said they stopped the car around 7:24 a.m. near mile 136 on I-95 north. They developed probable cause to search the car.

They found a Bluetooth speaker in the backseat “which had obvious signs of tampering on the bolts holding it together,” the release said.

Deputies then found a hidden compartment, which had 295 grams of cocaine and $62,265 in cash, the release said.

The driver, 36-year-old Sameh Hassan, and passenger, 34-year-old Matthew Valencia, both of Astoria, New York, were arrested. Both were charged with maintaining a vehicle/dwelling/place for a controlled substance and two counts of trafficking in cocaine.

  • Drugs and cash seized during a Nash County Sheriff's Office stop made on I-95 on March 8, 2022.
  • Matthew Valencia mugshot
  • Sameh Hassan mugshot

Both were given a $200,000 secured bond. Hassan has since bonded out while Valencia was still in custody, as of Wednesday.