14.5 pounds of meth found in car on Hwy 101
Woman with three kids pulled over and arrested
14.5 pounds of meth, worth $228,000, found behind back seat
Update May 16, 2013:
Deputy Al Barger spoke to the Paso Robles Rotary Club today and added a few details to the story. He said:
- The destination for the meth was San Jose.
- The packages weighed in at 14.5 pounds
- The car had crossed the California-Mexico border eight times in the last month.
- The suspect said she had been arrested in Mexico for transporting drugs.
- The license plate had a 2014 expiration sticker, but was expired.
- Investigators believe she is working for a large cartel.
On Monday night at 7 p.m. San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Deputy Al Barger and his K9 “Jack” were traveling northbound on Highway 101 on the Cuesta Grade when Deputy Barger noticed a car in front of him make several abrupt lane changes.
He ran a check on the license plate and discovered the registration on the car had expired. He proceeded to make a traffic stop on the car that contained a female driver and three children. The driver, 32-year-old Maria Guadalupe Garcia had a prior criminal history of transporting drugs. Deputy Barger asked Garcia if she had any drugs in the car and if he could search the car. Garcia consented to the search and had her three children leave the car.
Deputy Barger had Jack sniff the car and the K9 indicated that drugs were present in the back seat area. Deputy Barger noticed the back seat was loose and so he removed it, exposing a metal plate above the gas tank that was missing a screw. Deputy Barger removed the metal plate and discovered plastic packages floating in the gas tank.
He removed a total of 13 packages of methamphetamine weighing in at 14.5 lbs. with an estimated street value of $228,000. Garcia was arrested and booked into County Jail for possession of a controlled substance for sale and transporting a controlled substance. Garcia was also charged with three counts of child endangerment. Garcia’s bail is set at one million dollars. Her three children, ages 15,12 and 5 were turned over to Child Protective Services.