ASHLAND, Ore. — An Oregon State Police traffic stop Thursday afternoon led to the arrest of a Hillsboro man and the seizure of approximately 55 pounds of high-grade heroin on Interstate 5 north of Ashland. The OSP Drug Enforcement Section is continuing the investigation. DES detectives think this is the largest heroin seizure by OSP in recent memory in the southern Oregon area.
According to Sergeant Jeff Allison, on August 23, 2012, at approximately 2:48 p.m., an OSP trooper stopped a 2006 Cadillac SRX sport utility vehicle displaying Oregon license plates northbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 15 for a traffic violation. The operator was identified as 65-year-old Raul Mendoza.
Subsequent investigation related to the traffic stop led to the discovery of 15 individually sealed packages of heroin, approximately 55 total pounds, concealed within the vehicle. An OSP drug detection canine was utilized during the stop. The seized heroin has an estimated value of $1.1 million.
Mendoza was arrested and lodged in the Jackson County Jail for Unlawful Possession and Distribution of a Controlled Substance – Heroin.