Seat belt violation leads to pot, heroin seizure

3 men arrested

April 19, 2002|By DARREN SIMON

Staff Writer

A traffic stop in El Centro for a passenger allegedly not wearing a seat belt Thursday led to three arrests when 23 pounds of marijuana and more than a pound of heroin were found inside the vehicle.

Arrested were Frank Manjarez Carrillo, 21, Jesus Mora Rodriguez, 32, and Hilaria Verdugo, 51, all of Chula Vista.

All three were booked into the county jail. Bail for Carrillo and Rodriguez was set at $500,000 each. Bail information for Verdugo was unavailable this morning.

The arrests came about 10:30 a.m. when El Centro police Office Shannon Fox stopped a car because one of the passengers was not wearing a seat belt.


Fox became suspicious that the three passengers were concealing something, so he asked to conduct a search. Consent was granted and Fox called in a Border Patrol canine unit to aid in the search of the vehicle.

El Centro police Sgt. Jerrold Novak said a portion of the heroin was found in Verdugo's purse and marijuana and more heroin were discovered hidden in panels in the vehicle.

All three were arrested on suspicion of transporting drugs for sale.

The case was turned over to the Border Interdiction Team for further investigation.

There was no information this morning on the location to which the three were transporting the drugs.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles