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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.

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.

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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.

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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