Federal law enforecemnt offcicials say they arrested a man transporting 3,600 grams of methamphetamine through northern Arizona on Interstate 40 yesterday. According to a complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the man had the drugs in a secret compartment in the rear of his SUV that could only be accessed by buttons on the dash that opened a solenoid-powered hidden door.
An agent with the Department of Homeland Security Flagstaff branch wrote in the complaint that he was in a Navajo County Sheriff’s Office deputy’s car when they pulled out behind the suspect’s vehicle traveling eastbound at 74 mph in a 75 mph zone.
“Smugglers are often known to travel at or below the posted speed limit to avoid contact with law enforcement officers,” the complaint read. The officers also said that the vehicle was travelling too close to a truck in front of it — about three or four car lengths.
When stopped, the man had a temporary driver’s license issued the day before and said he was en route from Santa Paula, California to Albuquerque to see family.
The man consented to a search of his 2004 GMC Envoy and officers found a small amount of marijuana. The officers ran a drug sniffing dog around the car and it alerted, according to court documents.
A section of the rear cargo floorboard had been glued down and was higher than normal. Inside the secret compartment were eight packages containing 3,674 grams of meth. A complaint said the drugs were still moist, indicating that they had been manufactured recently.
Edilverto Cano Hernandez is being held in the Coconino County Detention Facility without bond and faces one charge of possesion with intent to distrubute a controlled substance. Upon conviction, the crime would carry a sentence of ten years to life in prison.