Crime

K9 Beny leads officers to hidden stash of meth in Merced County, CHP says

These bags of crystal methamphetamine were found in a secret compartment in the roof of a 2013 Jeep Patriot after CHP K9 Beny alerted officers during a speeding traffic stop Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, on Pacheco Pass.
These bags of crystal methamphetamine were found in a secret compartment in the roof of a 2013 Jeep Patriot after CHP K9 Beny alerted officers during a speeding traffic stop Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, on Pacheco Pass. Courtesy California Highway Patrol Merced

A canine officer, Beny, sniff earlier this week turned a traffic stop into a drug investigation on Pacheco Pass, according to California Highway Patrol.

A CHP officer stopped a 2013 Jeep Patriot for a speed violation at about 5 p.m. Tuesday on westbound Highway 152 at Dinosaur Point, according to a news release.

The officer noticed indications that the driver, 40-year-old Salinas resident Angel Olivas, was possibly engaged in criminal activity, the release states.

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Angel Olivas, 40, of Salinas Courtesy Merced County Sheriff's Office

CHP K9 Beny was called to the scene and did a sniff around the vehicle, alerting officers to the odor of narcotics, according to the release.

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These bags of crystal methamphetamine were found in a secret compartment in the roof of a 2013 Jeep Patriot after CHP K9 Beny alerted officers during a speeding traffic stop Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, on Pacheco Pass. Courtesy California Highway Patrol

Olivas reportedly gave the officers written and verbal consent to search the vehicle, the release states. During the search, officers found about 30 pounds of crystal methamphetamine inside a “sophisticated roof compartment.”

Olivas was booked into Merced County Jail at 10:31 p.m. Tuesday with a $265,000 bond amount on suspicion of three felonies, transporting drugs for sale between counties, transporting or selling a controlled substance, and possession of more than 25 pounds for sale, according to jail records.

“Although this is one of the more sophisticated ‘traps’ we’ve seen, Beny always NOSE where to (find the stuff),” the release states.

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