74 lbs of heroin that was hidden inside a pickup's tires

74 lbs of heroin that was hidden inside a pickup's tires

A traffic stop last week in Atascosa County led to the seizure of 74 pounds of heroin-the largest amount of heroin ever seized by Department of Public Safety troopers during a random traffic stop.

Trooper Martin Soward of Jourdanton stopped a pickup at 12:45 p.m. Friday near Campbellton. The vehicle, which was pulled over for driving erratically, was northbound on Interstate 37.

The trooper immediately became suspicious of the oversized tires. Further inspection revealed bundles of heroin concealed in all four of the pickup's tires by metal containers welded to the tire rims. Lab tests confirmed the contraband was brown heroin with an estimated value of $3.3 million.

A 53-year-old Mexican national is being detained and faces federal drug charges. DPS High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Narcotics investigators in San Antonio are continuing the investigation. The Department of Public Safety is not releasing the suspect's name because of the sensitive nature of the investigation.

Prior to last week's bust, the biggest heroin seizure by a DPS trooper during a random traffic stop was nearly 31 pounds in April 1997 in Nueces County. The second biggest was a 29-pound heroin seizure in an October 2001 traffic stop in Live Oak County.
Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

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