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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.

jeff linney February 14, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Great job by Officer Sacco and the state police getting harmful drugs off the streets.
The other City's Dog February 15, 2012 at 01:29 AM
The first comment is definately from one of your co-workers Harry. I still love Marco and Harry.
Sergeant Gerry Boyle February 15, 2012 at 02:14 AM
You type really well for a dog.
Mike February 15, 2012 at 05:58 AM
Whats the house on Fulton St. that the informant told them was a drug drop-off point? I live right near there and I hope after the police arrested the driver that they went to the house and got them too.
Jarret Bencks (Editor) February 15, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Mike - The address of the home was omitted because it was not searched and none of its residents arrested.
K.S. Eserado February 15, 2012 at 06:13 PM
As a 34 year old minority who has been stopped by the police so many times for doing nothing wrong but the color of my skin this reeks of racial profiling. How many other carsdid the officer write there license plates down that were speeding. I bet none. He saw a hispanic-american and figured hed give it a shot and haass him. In this case it turns out that they found drugs but what if they didnt? The cop should never have stopped him. If it wasnt for the police dog they werent going to find the drugs anyway and who is to say that they were even his. This case will get dismissed for lack of proper police procedure I bet but the driver will now have it on his recored and will have hard time to get job. just another example of the police breaking the laws they are supposed to be in charge of.
bornandraised02155 February 15, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Apparently, K.S. didn't get his shipment last week. Wahhhh, Wahhhh, Wahhhh. Bottom line is Mr. Hernandez-Garcia did have drugs and his intent was to sell them. What a shame that this will be on Seymour's record (likely with a long list of other infractions). Great job, Officer Sacco. You may want to keep an eye on the top of Fulton Street too.
Lewis Jarvis February 16, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Marco's hay fever is doing much better I hear...get well soon! Tell Harry I said hi when he gets home from training.
WWally February 17, 2012 at 05:57 PM
KS , where do you hide your drugs?
WWally February 17, 2012 at 05:58 PM
KS, where did you go to law school?
Michael Moura February 18, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Great work by the MSP pooch and MPD. People fly down that stretch all the time. My guess is they had reasonable cause to search because the operator was acting suspiciously. They ordered him out + asked for permission to search. The suspect agreed and thats when he was taken into custody.

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