Hiding in plan sight...
A CHP officer stops a car on Interstate 5 Monday morning near Coalinga.
He makes two arrests and uncovers a smuggling operation
The officer found fifteen bottles of what appeared to be tequila.
But looks can be deceiving.
What was hidden in those bottles was very valuable and very illegal.
This case is part of a new trend is the new trend in transporting methamphetamine. It's in liquid form not the power we're used to seeing. The suspects used these old tequila bottles to move it to its destination.
To the untrained eye, these look like bottles of tequila.
But it's more than half a million dollars worth of methamphetamine.
Drug smugglers are trying different tactics.
“It's an attempt to get by our officers. And our officers are highly trained. And indications were there,” said Officer Matt Radke with the California Highway Patrol.
The suspects told the officer they'd picked up the bottles in Southern California and were on their way to Oregon.
“Based on the interviews with the driver and the passenger there's criminal activity with both, their nervousness,” Radke said.
The officers K-9 partner is a drug sniffing dog and indicated there were drugs in the car.
The bottles of meth were in the trunk.
The meth has to be handled carefully. The fumes and liquid could make someone sick.
Investigators from the Department of Justice and the Fresno Meth Task Force finger-printed the bottles and took samples from each one.
Two people are under arrest. They’re identified as 20-year-old Rene Paul Diaz and 38-year-old Veronica Carrasco. Both are from Oregon.
The two suspects will face federal drug charges.