LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Two Mexican nationals were arrested after officers witnessed a narcotics transition at the Ludlow Service Plaza along the Mass. Pike on Monday.

According to Massachusetts State Police, 23-year-old Gerado Madrigal Quintero of Culiacan, Mexico and 30-year-old Joel Enrique Armenta Castro of Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico are being charged with trafficking 200 grams or more of cocaine and conspiracy to violate the drug law for allegedly bringing 15 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico in a tractor-trailer.

The arrests were made after information was provided through an FBI investigation. Massachusetts State Police verified the two Mexican suppliers were heading to Massachusetts to deliver the truckload of cocaine. Castro was taken into custody after police witnessed the exchange of both him and Quintero at the Ludlow Service Plaza.

Shortly after, police stopped the tractor-trailer truck on I-91 South in Longmeadow and Quintero was taken into custody. About 15 kilograms of cocaine were seized, with the street value of the drugs of over $500,000.

“The cocaine that troopers, agents, and task force officers prevented from reaching the streets of Massachusetts through this investigation was worth more than half a million dollars to its suppliers in Mexico,” said Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police. “Had it reached its destination it would have been cut up, packaged, and sold throughout our communities, and it would have caused violence, ruined families, and ended lives. The Massachusetts State Police will continue to work with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners to interdict drug traffickers and their deadly product.”

“These arrests are a direct result of the hard work and dedication shared between federal, state, and local law enforcement in our efforts to identify and remove large-scale drug traffickers from our communities,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “In preventing 15 kilos of cocaine from Mexico from hitting Massachusetts streets, there’s no question our neighborhoods are much safer.”

“The threats to public health and safety posed by narcotic traffickers and the illicit drug trade is significant and widespread,” District Attorney Gulluni said. “This very substantial seizure comes with a tremendous amount of work, and I thank the agencies involved for their vigilance, resources, and expertise for in combating these very dangerous individuals and the organizations they serve.”

Quintero and Castro are being held without bail after they were arraigned in Hampden District Court on Tuesday. They both have pending dangerousness hearings scheduled for September 2.