What started as a routine traffic stop on Interstate 5 south of Salem Sunday morning quickly turned into a major drug bust, as Oregon State Police troopers seized nearly 100 pounds of methamphetamines, fentanyl and other narcotics with the help of a K-9 officer.
During the traffic stop, the trooper allegedly observed signs of criminal activity and requested consent to search the vehicle.
The driver, 22-year-old Miguel Cruz-Barrales, denied consent but admitted to importing marijuana from California. OSP K-9 Titan was deployed to the scene and alerted his handlers to two large duffel bags in the trunk of the vehicle.
The bags were found to contain a significant amount of what were later confirmed to be various controlled substances, including 54 pounds of methamphetamine, 33 pounds of powdered fentanyl, 10 pounds of cocaine and two pounds of heroin.
Both occupants of the vehicle were detained, interviewed and taken into custody to face federal drug charges. They were subsequently lodged at the Multnomah County Jail.
On Monday, Cruz-Barrales made his first appearance in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman on charges of possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine. He was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.
The case is being investigated jointly by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and OSP. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.
Police officials hailed the drug bust as a “significant win” for the law enforcement agencies involved in the case.
“The discovery of these dangerous drugs could potentially save lives by preventing them from hitting the streets,” Oregon State Police said in a press release.
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