|Re: Largest Seizure of Crystal Meth in Okeechobee History|
|Wednesday, 17 March 2010 09:29|
Sheriff Paul C. May has released the following information:
Reference: Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force makes largest seizure of Crystal Meth in Okeechobee County history.
On 03/15/2010 members of the Okeechobee County Narcotics Task Force conducted a traffic stop for a moving violation that resulted in a discovery and seizure of 22.7 pounds of methamphetamines. The stop occurred at the 800 block of Hwy 441 North after officers observed the suspect vehicle (a gray 2002 GMC Yukon driven by Rafaela Huerta-Aranda) fail to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of NE 5th Street and Hwy 441 North within Okeechobee City.
Upon conducting the traffic stop, members of the Okeechobee Narcotics Tasks Force, conducted a search utilizing a Sheriff’s Office Canine Officer named Widgen. The 11-year-old narcotics detection canine searched the interior and exterior of the vehicle and gave signs that the vehicle contained some type of illegal narcotic.
Based upon the probable cause provided by canine officer Widgen, the Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force removed the vehicle to a secure garage area to conduct a thorough search. Within the vehicle the officers found 4 hidden compartments that contained packages of Methamphetamines. The drugs were packed in such a way (wrapped in plastic, grease, and carbon paper) as a failed attempt to hide the drug’s odor from drug searching canines. The total seizure was for 22.7 pounds (10,296.55 grams). Under state law, trafficking amounts is anything over 200 grams. The estimated street value of these drugs is $408,600.
Rafaela Huerta-Aranda was arrested for trafficking in Methamphetamines over 200 grams. Her bond is set at $2 million.
Sheriff Paul C. May said of the arrest and seizure, “This amount of meth would ruin many lives and probably cause death. I am very proud of the Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force for them taking this off of the streets and I hope the people trafficking in this amount of meth get the maximum sentence.”
For further information please contact:
Detective Ted Van Deman, Public information Officer
Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office
504 NW 4th Street
Okeechobee, Florida 34972