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Traffic stop nets more than $5 million in illegal drugs

Two Grandview residents arrested

YAKIMA - At approximately 11:45 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23, a Washington State Patrol trooper stopped a 2003 Cadillac sedan for speeding on Interstate 82 in Yakima.

What seemed a routine traffic stop proved to be much more, according to a prepared statement from the State Patrol.

Upon contact, the trooper noticed the fresh odor of marijuana coming from inside the car. After gaining information investigating the possession of marijuana the vehicle was seized in order to obtain a search warrant.

The State Patrol says a warrant was served on the vehicle. During the search of the vehicle troopers said they located a suitcase containing 20 lbs. of Ecstasy and one kilo of methamphetamine; both are controlled substances.

Troopers estimate the two drugs had a combined street value of more than $5 million

In actions related to the arrest, troopers seized $15,000 in cash, the Cadillac, a small amount of marijuana and cocaine, and the Ecstasy and methamphetamine.

Both occupants of the vehicle were booked into the Yakima County Jail for possession of controlled substances and possession with intent to deliver.

The State Patrol said the individuals arrested were both from Grandview. They are the driver, Elpidia Vargas, 27, and her passenger, Jesus F. Torres, 20.

Troopers estimate that 20 lbs. of Ecstasy, approximately 272,000 pills, has a street value of about $5.5 million dollars.

One kilo of methamphetamine, they note, has an approximate street value of $55,000.


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