Bond was set for $1 million Wednesday for three illegal immigrants who were stopped Friday in Van Buren County and arrested on a number of drug charges.
The traffic stop led to the discovery of nearly three pounds of methamphetamine, as the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department, the Arkansas State Police and officers from the 20th Judicial District Drug Crime Task Force conducted a routine stop on Highway 65 just north of Bee Branch, according to a news release from Prosecuting Attorney Marcus Vaden. The release stated a K-9 officer alerted on the vehicle and a search was conducted, revealing about three ounces of methamphetamine.
The driver of the vehicle, David F. Tinajero, 30, and a passenger, Luis Lopez-Sanabia, 29, were taken into custody. Warrants were obtained for their residence at 46 Caudel Road in Mount Vernon, as well as for the El Indo Mexican store in Rose Bud.
At the residence, Vaden said officers found a large amount of methamphetamine, a handgun and a stolen motorcycle. During a search at El Indo, agents located additional methamphetamine, a second handgun and about $5,000 cash. The owner of the store, Jose "Carlos" Montalvan, 51, who also resided at the Caudel Road address, was taken into custody.
"In total, almost three pounds of methamphetamine with a street value approaching $125,000 was removed from the streets of our community," 20th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Marcus Vaden said. "The seizure of the defendants and their drugs, along with the guns and cash, is a sizeable victory in our battle against illegal immigrants who are profiting through the drug trade."
All three men face Class Y felony drug charges and could face a potential sentence of 10-40 years to life in the Arkansas Department of Correction if convicted.