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Traffic stops net $750k in suspected drugs

This cache of suspected methamphetamine is part of more than 200 pounds of drugs taken during recent traffic stops in Canadian County. Sheriff Chris West said the drugs had an estimated street value of more than $750,000. Photo / Provided

Canadian County sheriff’s deputies have seized more than $750,000 worth of suspect methamphetamines over the past two months, officials said.
Sheriff Chris West said the seizures occurred during three traffic stops. In all, he said, 220 pounds of what authorities believe is the illicit drug were taken off the streets.
The seizures began just after midnight June 11 on Interstate 40 when a deputy stopped a vehicle just west of Czech Hall Road for speeding.
The officer said that he suspected the driver and his passenger might be involved in criminal activity. A drug-detection dog alerted on the vehicle, he said.
Drugs were found in the rear passenger compartment of an F-150 Ford crew cab pickup inside the passengers’ luggage, West said.
Deputies also found drugs inside a natural void in the vehicle’s tailgate.
West said, in all, the deputies found about 82 pounds of methamphetamine.
On July 13, just before noon near State Highway 92, deputies stopped a 2013 Nissan Altima after the driver was seen driving on the shoulder for more than a quarter mile.
The deputy said that when he approached the vehicle, he detected a strong odor of marijuana. The driver was arrested for driving under the influence.
However, during an inventory of the vehicle, authorities found about 24 pounds of suspected methamphetamine in the vehicle’s trunk. The drugs were inside a suitcase and a cardboard box, West said.
The third seizure occurred July 26 just after midnight near U.S. 81 at El Reno when deputies stopped a 2010 Dodge Caravan for a burned-out brake light.
The driver said she was traveling from Los Angeles to Atlanta to visit friends.
West said that while his deputy was talking with the driver, he noticed what appeared to be modifications to the vehicle that were suspicious.
The driver allegedly gave consent for the deputy to conduct a search. A dog indicated that there were drugs inside the passenger compartment.
A compartment was found in the floor of the van, where officers said they located 117 pounds of suspected meth.
The drivers who were arrested in the first two stops were both in the U.S. illegally, West said. One of the suspects, he said, had previously been deported several times.
The third suspect allegedly has ties to a Mexican drug cartel, West said.
West did not release the suspects’ names pending the filing of charges.
He said the cases remain under investigation.

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