CORDES LAKES — The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) seized 18 pounds of high grade meth thanks to the strong nose of Haddie, a K9 officer with the department.
Around 1:30 a.m. on February 12, YCSO deputies stopped 20-year-old Jhampier Mendoza Torez on I-17 NB near MM 276 in Cordes Lakes for "for moving and equipment violations."
The K9 Deputy who stopped Torez noted the 20-year-old was "unusually nervous" during the stop, and contradicted himself when discussing his travel plans.
"Based on the K9 Deputy’s training and experience he believed Torez was concealing contraband, likely drugs," YCSO's statement said.
When the K9 Deputy asked to search Torez's car, Torez declined.
The K9 Deputy then deployed Haddie to sniff Torez's 2014 Camaro.
According to YCSO, Haddie "gave a positive alert to the odor of drugs coming from the vehicle."
Deputies searched the Camaro and noticed tool marks on the rear driver seat panel, as well as the passenger seat panel.
When they removed the seat's foam inserts, they discovered 18 plastic bags containing what appeared to be meth. Further inspection of the plastic bags showed each weighed one-pound, and contained high grade methamphetamine.
According to YCSO, Torez allegedly admitted he was being paid to transport meth and had previously been paid to smuggle illicit substances, using the money to "support his family."
Torez is being held on a $500,000 cash bond and is being charged with transportation of dangerous drugs, possession of dangerous drugs for sales, possession of dangerous drugs, and possession of drug paraphernalia.