Comments Off on Drug dog, Tico, finds 18 pounds of Methamphetamine in El Centro; Gilbert Ochoa, 32, of El Centro, arrested

El Centro police, with the aide of their drug-sniffing dog, stopped a vehicle Saturday with more than 18 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a spare tire, according to authorities.

Although two suspects were initially arrested, officers released one and only booked Gilbert Ochoa, 32, of El Centro into county jail on suspicion of felony possession and transportation of methamphetamine for sale, according to El Centro police Cmdr. Robert Sawyer.5547f40275c04_image

“The El Centro Police K‐9 Unit has proven itself to be very effective in the short time it’s been in service,” Sawyer said in a press release issued Monday.

Police Officer James Thompson was on patrol with his canine partner, Tico, when he pulled over a vehicle traveling west in the 1200 block of Pico Avenue for a vehicle code violation around 5 p.m. Saturday, according to police.

After the driver and passenger appeared nervous, according to the release, consent was given to search the vehicle. Tico alerted to the rear area of the vehicle, where Thompson and officers discovered 20 packages of a substance that later tested positive as methamphetamine. The combined was in excess of 18 pounds.

“This seizure is significant in that it helps stymie the flow of illegal drugs in El Centro and the Imperial County,” Sawyer said. The street value of the methamphetamine was estimated to be $430,900.

“We are proud of the fact that our officers are taking a proactive approach to protect our community by taking drugs off of the streets and out of our neighborhoods,” Sawyer added.

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