Traffic stop leads to Truckee meth bust
August 2, 2005
Authorities in Truckee, Calif., believe a traffic stop that led to the arrest of two Carson City residents put a dent in the distribution of methamphetamine on the West Coast.
The two were arrested Saturday after allegedly trying to retrieve more than a pound of methamphetamine from a vehicle locked in a police impound yard, Truckee Police Lt. Jeff Nichols said.
The investigation began Friday, when Lacie Rogers, 19, was stopped for speeding on Interstate 80, Nichols said.
California Highway Patrol troopers had the vehicle she was driving towed to a storage yard after learning Rogers had a suspended driver’s license.
She was cited and released, and officers gave her and her passenger, Victor Mendiola-Serrano, a ride to town to arrange for transportation back to Carson City, Nichols said.
The next day, witnesses reported seeing the two hanging around the police impound yard, authorities said.
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Rogers was detained, and Mendiola-Serrano, 26, was caught after fleeing into the woods, Nichols said.
Investigators later determined Mendiola-Serrano had been inside the storage yard and was trying to remove something from the car’s air duct that turned out to be methamphetamine, police said. Authorities said the drug had an estimated street value of $50,000.
Nichols said search warrants were obtained for the impounded vehicle and a second vehicle they used to return to Truckee.
A drug dog from the Placer County sheriff’s office was brought in, and though no further drugs were found, the dog’s actions appeared to indicate both vehicles had been used to transport drugs, police Detective Robert Womack said.
Additionally, Womack said the vehicles had been “extensively rebuilt” and contained places to hide drugs.
Rogers and Mendiola-Serrano were booked on charges of transportation of a controlled substance, transportation across county lines, conspiracy and burglary, authorities said.
Mendiola-Serrano also was charged with resisting arrest.