An Oregon State Police (OSP) traffic stop Thursday afternoon led to the arrest of a Hillsboro, Oregon man and the seizure of approximately 55 pounds of high-grade heroin on Interstate 5 north of Ashland. The OSP Drug Enforcement Section (DES) is continuing the investigation. DES detectives think this is the largest heroin seizure by OSP in recent memory in the southern Oregon area.
According to Sergeant Jeff Allison, on August 23, 2012, at approximately 2:48 p.m., an OSP trooper stopped a 2006 Cadillac SRX sport utility vehicle displaying Oregon license plates northbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 15 for a traffic violation. The operator was identified as Raul Mendoza, age 65, from Hillsboro, Oregon.
Subsequent investigation related to the traffic stop led to the discovery of fifteen (15) individually sealed packages of heroin, approximately 55 total pounds, concealed within the vehicle. An OSP drug detection canine was utilized during the stop. The seized heroin has an estimated value of $1.1 million.
Mendoza was arrested and lodged in the Jackson County Jail for Unlawful Possession and Distribution of a Controlled Substance – Heroin.
News Release and Photo from: Oregon State Police