ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Authorities say a traffic stop led to the discovery of heroin worth more than $250,000.
The Orangebug County Sheriff's Office arrested 42-year-old Javier Perez Flores of Guadalajara, Mexico. Sheriff Leroy 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.
Ravenell say the bust is believed to be one of the largest heroin seizures in Orangeburg County's history.
"This was the combined efforts of Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office narcotics agents, DEA, and the Highway Patrol," the sheriff said. "In one stop, they seized what came out to be 4.4 pounds – not grams, but pounds – of heroin."
Just after 8 p.m. on Friday, Highway Patrol troopers noticed a vehicle weaving across the center line around mile marker 148 on I-26.
"When the white Dodge truck was stopped, 'Gus,' an OCSO German Shepherd trained in narcotics detection, alerted that narcotics were in the vehicle," OCSO officials said. "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 for any more hidden compartments.
Agents said Flores admitted he was bringing the shipment to Charlotte from Mexico.
"I'm very proud of our agents, which includes Gus, and those of the Highway Patrol and the DEA," Ravenell said. "Together these agents stopped a major heroin shipment from reaching the streets. The bad part for the ones carrying this is this team is going back out."
Flores was taken into custody by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
"Flores was briefly held at the Orangeburg County Detention Center before being moved to an undisclosed facility," OCSO officials said."He will face a federal magistrate for a bond hearing on federal charges of trafficking heroin."