A 22-year-old Minneapolis man is among three people arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, with more than 70 pounds of the narcotic recovered in a bust.
The case evolved out of Colorado during a traffic stop on April 3. During the stop, the driver of the vehicle, 38-year-old Humberto Torres-Rodriguez of Los Angeles, agreed to have his vehicle searched, leading to the discovery of more than 55 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a false compartment, also known as a "trap."
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Torres-Rodriguez made a call the next day to meet two men in Bloomington, Minnesota, where they were to exchange the drugs for money.
The meeting was arranged for April 5, and law enforcement witnessed Torres-Rodriguez receive money in exchange for the drugs. The man who gave Torres-Rodriguez the money has been identified as 22-year-old Irwin Enrique Becerra, of Kansas City, Missouri.
Also at the arranged meeting location was Jose Alfredo Penaloza Romero, 22, of Minneapolis. All three men were arrested at the scene.
Authorities later conducted a search warrant at Romero's home and found 16 packages, all weighing a half-pound or pound, of methamphetamine, and approximately $30,000 in cash.
"This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Ramsey County Violent Crime Enforcement Team, and the St. Paul Police Department," the U.S. Attorney's Office release says.
Romero and Becerra have each been charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and a count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Torres-Rodriguez is facing one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.