Speeding Stop Leads to Cocaine Bust in Medford
A State Police K-9 sniffed out the drugs in a hidden compartment inside the van, police said.
A routine speeding stop last week near Fulton Street led to the discovery of nearly two ounces of cocaine in a hidden compartment of a mini-van, according to a police report.
Police allegedly found 14 plastic bags containing 1/8 ounce of cocaine each, and two one-gram bags of cocaine in a hidden compartment in the floor of a van driven by Seymour Hernandez-Garcia, 28, of Peabody on Friday. The discovery came after a State Police K-9 searched the van and police obtained a search warrant to open the hidden compartment, according to a police report.
Hernandez-Garcia was arrested near the intersection of Fulton Street and St. Clare Road about 10:30 a.m. Friday and charged with trafficking cocaine, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and speeding. He was released on $5,000 bail after an arriagnment Monday before Judge Maurice Flynn in Somerville District Court.
While working a detail in North Medford Friday morning for Verizon, Officer Leo Sacco III spotted a brown van speeding on Fulton Street. He wrote down the license number of the van in case it returned to the area, according to a police report, written by Sacco.
About five minutes later the van pulled out of a nearby driveway again speeding, so Sacco stepped out into the road to stop the vehicle, the report said.
Hernandez-Garcia was driving the car by himself, but only had a learner's permit, the report said. Sacco spotted used baggie ties on the floor of the car, and police had been previously told by an informant the house Hernandez-Garca left was being used as a drop-off point for drugs, the report said.
State Police Trooper Brian Cooper and his K-9 partner, Drako, were called to the scene. Drako walked around and indicated he could smell drugs in the van, the report said. Police used this as probable cause to search the inside of the vehicle, Sacco wrote.
Once inside, Drako detected the scent of drugs coming from the floor of the car in a spot where the second row seats would normally be but were removed, the report said.
"Drako responded by scratching furiously at a spot on the floor covered by a piece of plastic," Sacco wrote.
Police obtained a search warrant to open the compartment covered by plastic later on Friday and found the drugs inside, the report said. They also seized $210, a cell phone, GPS, iPod and plastic bag containing an oil-like substance, the report said.
Hernandez-Garcia is expected to appear in court next April 23 for a probable cause hearing.