BATESVILLE — A recent traffic stop led to a large amount of hidden heroin being confiscated, reports Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel.
On June 2, Indiana State Police Trooper James Wells stopped a car traveling east on Interstate 74 in Ripley County for a routine traffic violation.
The officer made contact with the driver, Diana Campos Uribe, and passenger, Daniel Castrejon Jolano, and then asked for an ISP K-9 to respond to his location.
After the K-9 indicated on the car, Wells began a search of the vehicle, where he located a trap door beneath the car’s trunk. It hid a compartment where the trooper located two bundles/bricks of a substance he identified as heroin. They were later weighed and each bundle/brick was about 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds).
Uribe and Jolano were incarcerated at the Ripley County Jail and brought before the Ripley Circuit Court for their June 5 initial hearings, which had to be postponed because the court required an interpreter for both suspects.
Hertel formally charged them with two Class A felonies, conspiracy to deal a narcotic drug and possession with intent to distribute a narcotic drug. Both crimes are punishable by 20-50 years in prison.
On June 7, the initial hearings were held with the aid of an interpreter. Trial dates were set for Nov. 7. The prosecutor argued for bail in the amount of $1 million, citing multiple aliases, no ties to the community and the severity of the offenses. The court ultimately agreed.
Hertel commended Wells for his efforts in interdiction work. “Without Trooper Wells’ training, efforts, diligence and understanding of the drug trade, these controlled substances would not have even been discovered and taken off the street. .... Ripley County is suffering from a heroin influx in recent years.”
Since the approximate street value of heroin is $150 a gram and 2,000 grams were found in this instance, its value is an estimated $300,000. “This traffic stop and subsequent drug arrest is likely the largest in recent Ripley County history.”
He encourages the public to call 855-812-3784 to report illegal drug use and abuse.