$3 million meth stash found inside a television set

By Sarah Pridgeon

Fourteen pounds of methamphetamine were seized by Highway Patrol on Sunday, April 22, hidden inside a television set in the back of a U-haul truck. The vehicle was stopped for unsafe driving on I-90 and a subsequent search, with the help of a K-9, revealed a cargo of meth with an estimated street value of $3.1 million.

The truck was stopped just before 8 p.m. on Sunday, five miles west of Moorcroft on eastbound I-90, apparently heading for an unknown destination in St. Paul, Minnesota. K-9 Flora, a Highway Patrol drug detection dog, alerted state troopers to the presence of controlled substances among the household furnishings loaded in the back of the truck.

The K-9 alerted on a cardboard shipping box containing an older, tube-style 32-inch television set. Troopers unloaded the television to inspect it and discovered the meth secreted inside.

The truck’s occupants, Ms. Zuleika Mendoza, 29, and Mr. Rogelio Diaz-Valencia, 50, remain in custody after an initial appearance in Crook County Circuit Court on Thursday. Mendoza is a resident of San Jose, California, while Diaz-Valencia resides in Mexico, having been deported from San Jose at the beginning of the year.

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