K9 stop leads to large meth, cocaine seizure in Camp Verde area

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A YCSO deputy arrested 28-year-old Daniel Franco after he found drugs hidden inside the vehicle. (Source: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office) A YCSO deputy arrested 28-year-old Daniel Franco after he found drugs hidden inside the vehicle. (Source: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)
YAVAPAI COUNTY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A deputy with the Yavapai County Sherrif’s Office seized a significant amount of illegal drugs following a traffic stop for a moving violation.

On May 21, a YCSO K9 deputy stopped a 2015 white GMC Sierra, being operated by 28-year-old Daniel Franco, on northbound I-17 near Camp Verde.

When the deputy approached Franco, he noted Franco was acting unusually nervous and seemed confused about his travel plans, said YCSO spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn.

The deputy soon discovered Franco was an unlicensed driver and during a consented search of the truck, the deputy identified a THC E-cigarette cartridge emitting a strong odor of marijuana.

The deputy decided to deploy his certified K9 partner, Vader, after he suspected Franco may be concealing additional contraband based on the experiences with Franco thus far.

While walking around the outside of the truck, Vader displayed alert signals near the space between the truck bed and cab, said D’Evelyn.

Due to suspicion from the deputy noticing tire changing components on the floorboard but no evidence a tire had been changed recently, the deputy looked at the flat spare tire under the truck and found indications of recent activity in this area.

After further investigation, the deputy discovered seven 1-pound packages of meth and another package containing around 3/4 of a pound of cocaine hidden in a void under the bed of the truck, according to D’Evelyn.

Franco denied knowledge of the drugs and was booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including transport and intent to sell dangerous drugs and narcotics and possession of a narcotic drug. He remains in custody on a $10,000 bond.

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