Traffic Stop Leads To Recovery Of Three Pounds Of Methamphetamine From Illegal Immigrants

A traffic stop on Friday June 18th, 2010 in Van Buren County led to the arrest of three illegal aliens on various drug charges. Officers of the 20th Judicial District Drug Crime Task Force, the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department and the Arkansas State Police conducted a routine traffic stop on Highway 65 just North of Bee Branch in Van Buren County. After a K-9 officer alerted on the vehicle, a search was conducted and revealed approximately three ounces of methamphetamine (ICE).

The driver of the vehicle, David F. Tinajero, age 30, along with his passenger, Luis Lopez-Sanabia, age 29 were taken into custody. During the subsequent investigation it was determined that both individuals lived in Faulkner County and a search warrant was obtained for their residence at 46 Caudel Road in Mount Vernon and for the El Indo Mexican store in Rosebud.

While searching the Caudel Road residence, agents located a large amount of methamphetamine, a handgun and a stolen motorcycle. While searching the El Indo store, agents recovered additional methamphetamine, a second handgun and approximately $5,000 in cash. The owner of the store, Jose “Carlos” Montalvan age 51, who also resided at the Caudel Road address, was taken into custody.

“In total, almost three pounds of methamphetamine with a street value approaching $125,000 was removed from the streets of our community. The seizure of the defendants and their drugs, along with the guns and cash, is a sizeable victory in our battle against illegal immigrants who are profiting through the drug trade” said Marcus Vaden 20th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney.

At this time all three defendants face Class Y Felony drug charges which carry a potential sentence of 10 – 40 years to life in the Arkansas Department of Correction.

Bond was set on all three individuals in the amount of $1,000,000.00.