Accused meth traffickers face federal charges
Federal charges will follow an Ashland area traffic stop that led to the seizure of more than 50 pounds of methamphetamine.
Reynalda Larios-Cortes, 58, of Modesto, California, and Juan Enrique Lemus Del Cid, 29, of Tacoma, Washington, were arraigned Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Medford on drug possession and conspiracy charges stemming from a June 28, 2019, traffic stop between Ashland and Talent in which Oregon State Police reportedly found large quantities of the drug hidden inside an SUV, according to court documents and an earlier news report.
Police stopped the white 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander that Del Cid and Larios-Cortes were driving for speeding shortly before 4 p.m. June 28, according to documents filed last in an earlier Jackson County Circuit Court case that was dropped Feb. 7 because the case is being prosecuted federally, records show.
While police waited for Del Cid’s driver’s license and registration, the trooper said he noticed the vehicle had thin, poorly fitted after-market carpeting that’s more typically used for custom car stereo speaker boxes, according to filings last month by the Jackson County District Attorney’s office in the earlier case.
Neither suspect knew the owner of the SUV, according police, but refused consent to search the vehicle.
OSP K-9 Jaxson — a Labrador Retriever certified as a drug detection dog by the California Narcotics Canine Association and the Oregon Police Canine Association — pointed police to a metal secret compartment hidden underneath the fabric on the right rear passenger side.
OSP troopers say they found 50.8 pounds of methamphetamine and 4.8 pounds of heroin.
The vehicle was registered in California to an unnamed third party unrelated to Del Cid or Larios-Cortes.
A document filed Jan. 11 by OSP Trooper Travis Peterson, the K-9’s handler, said Jaxson has an accuracy rating of “approximately 95%” in searches involving vehicles, buildings and parcels.
“K-9 Jaxson has been applied in the field 164 times to this date and has indicated to the presence of a controlled substance 126 times,” Peterson wrote, describing the dog’s “extremely high reliability rate.”
During the Tuesday hearing, court records show that U.S. District Judge Mark Clarke authorized Del Cid to be released from jail on the pending drug charges as long as he wears a GPS monitor and complies with a curfew, among other conditions.
Larios-Cortes remains in the Jackson County Jail without bail on the pending drug charge, as well as a separate federal charge of illegally reentering the United States filed last fall.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement alleges that Larios-Cortes has been deported four times before: in 1997, 2000, 2014 and 2016.