Police find $300,000 worth of drugs in bus luggage

Article subtitle: 
One man linked to bag arrested; a second bag containing heroin and meth goes unclaimed
Article author: 
Sam Wheeler
Article publisher: 
Mail Tribune
Article date: 
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article category: 
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Medford police recently intercepted two travel bags packed with nearly $300,000 worth of heroin and methamphetamine on a commercial bus traveling through Central Point, authorities said.

Ivan Rojas-Hernandez, 29, of Salem, was arrested Friday on charges he was carrying one of the bags, but police are not certain to whom the other bag belongs, said Lt. Kevin Walruff of Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement.

Rojas-Hernandez was contacted by police while the bus was stopped at the Pilot Travel Center in Central Point at about 10:30 a.m. Friday. He voluntarily allowed police to search his travel bag, which contained about nine pounds of methamphetamine, Walruff said.

Walruff said Medford police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were acting off a tip, which led them to Rojas-Hernandez.

Walruff declined to reveal the name of the commercial bus line on which Rojas-Hernandez was traveling, fearing news of the drug bust may negatively affect its business.

He said the bus was traveling north on Interstate 5 from Southern California to a metropolitan area in the Pacific Northwest.

"We do not believe that any of these drugs were destined for the Rogue Valley area," Walruff said.

Police estimate the value of the methamphetamine they found in Rojas-Hernandez's bag is worth about $180,000, Walruff said.

Police seized a second bag from the bus containing about a pound and a half of heroin, worth about $50,000, and about two pounds of methamphetamine, worth about $40,000, Walruff said.

Walruff said police asked the passengers on the bus to claim their luggage, and one piece was left unclaimed. A police dog detected drugs inside the bag, so police obtained a warrant and searched it, he said.

"We don't believe (Rojas-Hernandez) to be tied to the unclaimed bag," Walruff said.

Police are continuing to investigate how the second bag of drugs found its way onto the bus, Walruff said.

Rojas-Hernandez is lodged in the Jackson County Jail on charges of possession and delivery of methamphetamine and he cannot be bailed out, because he is suspected of being in the country illegally, jail records show.