PORTLAND — Federal prosecutors in Portland say it looked at first like an unremarkable rollover crash involving a tractor-trailer rig on U.S. Highway 97 in north-central Oregon. That all changed when tow-truck company employees called Sherman County sheriff’s officers to say they’d found bundles of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine hidden in the pallets of bell peppers.
Sheriff’s officers tallied the haul at 190 pounds of meth, 11 pounds of heroin and 7.5 kilograms of cocaine.
The Oregonian reports the drugs are estimated to be worth more than $1 million. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says it’s believed to be Oregon’s largest drug seizure.
The 53-year-old East Wenatchee man who was driving the truck on Jan. 17 has been charged with four counts of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute the drugs. Salvador Martinez-Perez pleaded not guilty Thursday in federal court in Portland. He remains in custody with a trial date of April 22.