Cops uncover dangerous drugs during speed patrols

Cash, a stolen handgun gun, meth, heroin and  fentanyl are just some contraband netted by local law enforcement in July during traffic stops.

According to Wickenburg Police Department reports, on Thursday, July 25 just before 3 p.m., Wickenburg Police Department Officer Gabe Fuentes and his K9 partner Santos assisted Department of Public Safety Trooper Caleb Hiegel with a traffic stop on a 2011 Chrysler 300 on Highway 93 near the Highway 89 junction.

The driver of the vehicle, 23-year-old Jesus R. Monge from Phoenix, was found to have an active felony warrant for possession of narcotics, according to WPD Lt. Amy Sloane. Monge was placed under arrest and secured in a police car. The other three occupants of the car were asked to step out of the vehicle while K9 Santos performed a free air sniff around the vehicle.

K9 Santos alerted and officers located over $3,000 in cash, a stolen handgun, over 20 grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and a trunk full of illegal fireworks, Sloane said. Monge, and the three other passengers, were all booked into the Yavapai County Jail in Prescott on numerous felony charges.

The week prior, two individuals from Flagstaff were booked into Fourth Avenue Jail on seven felony charges after Wickenburg police stopped a car for speeding on July 17.

At about 11:30 p.m., an officer saw a 2018 Ford Escape on E. Wickenburg Way at Jack Burden Road traveling faster than the posted speed limit, according Sloane. The officer followed the vehicle eastbound as it continued to speed, and pulled it over at milepost 113 on US 60.

Upon contacting the male driver and female passenger, the officer detected a strong odor of unburnt marijuana coming from the vehicle according to the WPD report. Both occupants were cooperative, however, neither had a valid medical marijuana card. A search of the vehicle uncovered more than 3 lbs. of marijuana and marijuana candies (including packaging), THC extract and vape capsules as well as drug paraphernalia, according to WPD.

The driver, 20-year-old Andrew Grant, and passenger, 21-year-old Ysabel Shield were booked on seven felony charges, including possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of narcotic drugs, possession with intent to sell and transportation of marijuana and narcotics.

On Friday, July 12 at 12:45 p.m., a Wickenburg Police Department K9 Officer was conducting traffic enforcement in the area of Highway 60 at milepost 115. The officer observed a vehicle speeding and conducted a traffic stop. The driver consented to a vehicle search. The police K9 was deployed and alerted to specific areas of the vehicle indicating the presence of contraband. The vehicle was towed to the police department in order to obtain a search warrant. The driver and occupants were interviewed and provided transportation from the scene due to the extreme heat.

On Monday, July 15, the search warrant was granted. The vehicle was thoroughly searched. Officers located and seized 5.4 pounds of heroin and 2,000 fentanyl pills, valued at an estimated $50,000-$100,000, hidden inside the vehicle. The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time, Sloane said.

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