IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. — According to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Department in North Carolina, a routine traffic stop turned into a a drug bust on Dec. 10 after deputies with the Interstate Criminal Enforcement Team (ICE) stopped a 2014 Freightliner tractor-trailer along Interstate 77.
According to a report, the driver was allegedly transporting narcotics concealed within a a load of tile from Charlotte, North Carolina to Philadelphia.
During the stop, a K-9 officer named Groot, who is trained in detecting narcotics, was deployed and alerted officers of the presence of narcotics inside the vehicle.
“Groot, the deputy canine that was used to detect the narcotics, in this case, was purchased using asset forfeiture money from drug dealers. Groot is trained in detecting narcotics, specializing in fentanyl,” Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell said.
Officers then searched the tractor-trailer and seized 118 pounds of suspected fentanyl that was possibly mixed with cocaine. They also seized $100,000 in cash.
Arrested were Lorenzo Juan Arrelo, 44, and Lucio Eduardo Chavira Avila, 33, both from Mexico. They were transported them to the Iredell County Detention Center.
Both men are charged with tracking fentanyl/heroin, and each was given a $3.5 million bond.
Officers stated that they seized a street value of more than $3.7 million — based on the current wholesale value of $30,000 per kilogram — in fentanyl.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration website, one kilogram of fentanyl has the ability to kill 500,000 people.
For a visual comparison, North Carolina has a population of 10.7 million residents. With the amount seized by officers, the entire population of the state could be killed 2.5 times over.
Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Erica N. Guy decided to stay in her hometown to begin her professional career in journalism. Since obtaining her bachelor’s degree from UAPB, Erica has professionally written for several publications about several topics ranging from lifestyle, tech, culture, and entertainment, just to name a few. Continuing her love for her hometown, she joined our team in June 2023, where she is currently a staff writer. Her career goals include continuing storytelling through her writing by being the best professional writer she can be. In her spare time, Erica enjoys trying new foods, cozying up with a good book, spending time with family and friends, and establishing herself as a future businesswoman.