ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A traffic stop late last week led to one of the biggest drug busts in Orangeburg Co. history, Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said.
Javier Perez Flores, 42, of Guadalajara, Mexico, was detained after he was stopped by highway patrol troopers for weaving across the center lane. He was stopped on I-26 westbound near mile marker 148 around 8 p.m. on June 23.
When the white Dodge truck was stopped, Gus, a K-9 drug-detection dog with the sheriff's office, alerted that narcotics were in the vehicle.
Agents said Flores admitted he was bringing the shipment from Mexico. Flores was less than two hours from what he said was his intended destination of Charlotte, NC.
A careful search turned up a hidden compartment inside the truck known in the trade as a "trap." Inside the trap was two kilograms - or 4.4 pounds - of heroin wrapped in black plastic and $15,900 in cash.
The truck was seized to be searched in the next few days for any more hidden compartments.
Flores was briefly held at the Orangeburg County Detention Center before being moved to an undisclosed facility. He will face a federal magistrate for a bond hearing on federal charges of trafficking heroin.
"This was the combined efforts of Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office narcotics agents, DEA, and the Highway Patrol," Sheriff Ravenell said. "In one stop, they seized what came out to be 4.4 pounds – not grams, but pounds – of heroin."
Ravenell said that at streets values, the haul would have come out to an estimated $250,000 to $300,000 if it had made it through.