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FHP traffic stop nets drug cache

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A routine traffic stop became a drug bust when Troopers from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) found more than 5 pounds of heroin in a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) driven by a pair of undocumented migrants from Mexico.

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FHP Spokesman Sgt. Steve Gaskins said that just after 12:30 p.m. on April 26, a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee was traveling southbound on I-75 near Milepost 304 in Brooksville when Troopers stopped the vehicle on grounds that it displayed a fraudulent license plate from Arizona. During the stop, they also discovered that the Jeep’s driver was unlicensed.

During a search of the vehicle, FHP-K-9 Titan found 5.5 pounds of heroin with a street value of more than $693,000.

Troopers subsequently arrested 33-year-old Maurilio Garcia-Torres and Ivania Riestra-Garcia, 19, who were both determined to be undocumented immigrants from Mexico.

Both were arrested and booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on multiple charges including Heroin Trafficking, Distribution of Heroin, and possession of a vehicle for Drug Trafficking.

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Driver Garcia-Torres is being held on a $90,000 bond.

His passenger Riestra-Garcia is being held on an $80,000 bond.

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