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OSP seizes meth on I-5, arrests one

Oregon State Police caught a California man with 3 pounds of methamphetamine — enough for 5,433 people to get high — during a traffic stop Wednesday on Interstate 5 near Medford.

"A quarter gram is your most common dosage for one use," said OSP Lt. Kelly Collins. "A lot of people could get high off that."

Luis Albert Mercado-Villalobos, 22, of Sunnyvale, Calif., was charged with methamphetamine possession and distribution, providing false information to a police officer and first-degree forgery.

An OSP senior trooper stopped Mercado-Villalobos's 2002 Dodge 1500 pickup at about 3 p.m. Wednesday for a traffic violation on northbound Interstate 5 near milepost 26 just south of Medford.

Subsequent investigation during the traffic stop led to the discovery and seizure of about 3 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in the vehicle. The Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) team assisted with the investigation.

The drugs are valued at about $30,000 and equal about 5,433 doses, Collins said.

It's unclear where the drugs came from or where they were bound for, he said.

"There wasn't a lot of talking going on (by the suspect)," Collins said.

OSP postponed releasing information about the arrest until today due to the length of the investigation and the holidays, he said.

Mercado-Villalobos remains in the Jackson County Jail and is on an immigration hold for being in the country illegally, according to the jail website.

— Paris Achen