Pulled over on the 5 freeway between Orange and San Diego counties on Tuesday, the driver identified himself as a Mexican police officer–complete with identification.
But his nervousness prompted a search of his vehicle that produced more than 50 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a secret compartment, according to sheriff’s deputies.
Miguel Patron, 41, of Ensenada, was arrested on suspicion of transportation of a controlled substance and use of a hidden compartment to conceal a controlled substance, reports Orange County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Carrie Braun.
It was the OCSD Highway Interdiction Team that stopped Patron’s ride for vehicle code violations on northbound Interstate 5, Braun reveals.
After Patron identified himself as a Mexican police officer, he handed a deputy his police identification, Braun says.
However, Patron “was extremely nervous and several criminal indicators were identified by the deputy conducting the traffic stop,” claims the PIO, who added the suspect “gave consent to search his vehicle.”
That’s when a sheriff’s dog alerted to the odor of narcotics in the vehicle, and a more detailed search by the deputy located “a manufactured hidden compartment” that contained more than 50 pounds of methamphetamine, Braun says.
Patron was later booked into San Diego County Jail without incident, and his bail was set at $200,000.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.