17 Lbs. of cocaine found in fire extinguishers during traffic stop

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The following news release was sent by the AZ Dept. of Public Safety:

PICACHO PEAK - On January 26, 2009, at 11:45 a.m., an Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Officer stopped a 1997 Ford SUV for an equipment violation on Interstate 10 westbound at milepost 218 (near Picacho Peak).A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a false compartment which contained four fire extinguishers.Each canister contained 4.4 pounds of cocaine allowing DPS to seize a total of 17.6 pounds of cocaine and the vehicle following the traffic stop.

Arrested: Carlos Garcia-Real, 20, of Phoenix

Booked into the Pinal County Jail for possession of narcotic drugs

On January 27, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., DPS Officers stopped a blue Mercury Grand Marquis on Interstate 40 eastbound at milepost 255 (near Winslow) for following too closely and excessive window tint.A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a half pound of methamphetamine which was concealed in the dashboard behind the stereo.The suspect vehicle was seized along with the methamphetamine and over $1,000 in cash.The driver was booked into the Navajo County Jail for possession of narcotic drugs.

"These are very significant seizures of dangerous drugs on opposite ends of the state during a 24 hour time period.Both of these started out as routine traffic stops made by very vigilant DPS Officers.We are making a difference every day towards keeping communities safer by disrupting the flow of narcotics," said Roger Vanderpool, director of DPS.