Two people arrested after finding 70 pounds of methamphetamine under a door trap in their vehicle
(KNSI) – Two people have been arrested after police say they found $400,000 worth of methamphetamine under a hatch on the floor of a car they stopped in Clearwater.
According to the criminal complaint, police stopped the car on Interstate 94 on Tuesday. They spoke with the driver, Ana Delia Pacheco-Rivera, 44, who told law enforcement that she and her passenger, Gabriel Bustos Sandoval, 52, were in town shopping at the Mall of America for several days. . Officers learned the two were from Oregon and the vehicle was registered in someone else’s name. Although they said they had gone shopping, police said there was no luggage in the car, just two dogs in the back seat.
Court documents say a K9 police officer was called, and investigators say the dog “raised the alert to the presence of controlled substances inside the car.” During the search, police discovered that the floor of the vehicle had been modified to create a large vacuum which operated using a sequence of electrical components inside the car. The criminal complaint says law enforcement “bypassed the power supply” and opened the trap, where they found 70 individual packages of bulk-grade methamphetamine, which weighed about a pound each. In total, police recovered 31,751 grams of methamphetamine with a street value of $400,000. Electronic devices removed from the vehicle will also be searched.
Police said they also discovered a Visa card bearing someone else’s name in Pacheo-Rivera’s purse and that the two had gone by multiple aliases. The criminal complaint says Sandoval attempted to “break, equip and destroy” the ID card in his possession. The ID card was reportedly issued in Mexico and had a different name from the one Sandoval had given to the police. Investigators say the two had multiple contacts with law enforcement in Oregon and other states.
The criminal complaint indicates at this time that investigators say they believe Pacho-Rivera and Sandoval are professional couriers used by drug trafficking organizations to transport drugs across the country.
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