Bus bust uncovers $300,000 in meth

Article author: 
Chris Conrad
Article publisher: 
Mail Tribune
Article date: 
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Article category: 
Article Body: 

A California man traveling through Medford on a bus is now sitting in a jail cell after police found more than 6 pounds of methamphetamine in his travel bag.

Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement officers were alerted by federal agencies that the suspect was in the area on July 13. Officers arrested Miguel Rebolledo-Aviles, 23, when he stopped in Medford on his way from Southern California to Salem.

They linked Rebolledo-Aviles to an unclaimed bag containing 6.6 pounds of methamphetamine, Medford police Sgt. Kevin Walruff said.

"This is 3 kilos of meth," Walruff said. "It's a good grab for us."

The meth has an estimated street value of $300,000, police said.

Rebolledo-Aviles was lodged Tuesday in the Jackson County Jail on charges of delivery and possession of methamphetamine. He had been in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials for several days while authorities worked to confirm his identity, Medford police said.

ICE has detained him on suspicion of being in the country illegally and is being held without bail.

Local law enforcement has been busy in recent months seizing large amounts of drugs moving through Southern Oregon via bus, Walruff said.

"That seems to be the popular mode of transport now," Walruff said. "It is cyclical, though. When we start making arrests on buses, then they switch to driving it up and down the interstate in cars."

Walruff said the department works several cases a year in which drugs are sent through the mail.

"Most of the stuff that is mailed is marijuana," Walruff said. "It is not worth very much around here, but has high value on the East Coast."

Walruff said he has heard stories of drugs moved across the country in horse trailers and on tractor trailers hauling used cars.

In February, MADGE arrested two California residents and seized two large bags packed with 47 pounds of heroin on a commercial bus in Medford. The heroin was valued at $1 million.

It was the largest heroin bust in the area's history, Walruff said.

A month earlier, $1 million worth of meth was found on a bus in Weed, Calif. The meth was wrapped in 12 packages and stored on bags inside a bus terminal.

In March, MADGE seized 5 pounds of meth and more than 2 pounds of heroin from a California man traveling north on a bus.

The suspect was traveling with a small suitcase that contained meth and heroin. A drug-sniffing dog was used in the investigation, police said. They said the drugs were destined for an unknown location north of Jackson County.