K-9 Finds 13 Pounds of Meth in Gas Tank

A deputy's keen eye and a dog's keen nose lead San Luis Obispo sheriffs to a meth bust

By Lori Preuitt
|  Thursday, May 16, 2013  |  Updated 10:51 PM PDT
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K-9 Finds 13 Pounds of Meth in Gas Tank

San Luis Obispo Sheriff

Jack poses with the meth he helped find inside a modified gas tank

A woman driving up Highway 101 on her way to San Jose was arrested this week after a San Luis Obispo County sheriff's deputy and his K9 "Jack" say they found 13 pounds of meth floating in her gas tank.

Deputy Al Barger said he noticed a car making several abrupt lane changes Monday and when he ran the plate he found the car's registration was expired.

Barger said when he pulled the car over he found a 32-year-old driver and three children inside.

The driver, identified as Maria Guadalupe Garcia, had a prior criminal history of transporting drugs so Barger asked if he could search her vehicle.  Barger said Garcia consented to the search and had her three children leave the car.

Jack then took over and sniffed around.  Jack indicated he found something in the back seat.

Further investigation found a loose back seat, an exposed metal plate and several floating plastic bags in the gas tank.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's department said a total of 13 one-pound packages of methamphetamine were in the tank. The street value of the drugs is estimated at $228,000, according to investigators.

Garcia was arrested and booked for possession of a controlled substance for sale and transporting a controlled substance. She was also charged with three counts of child endangerment.

Garcia's bail is set at one million dollars. Her three children, ages 15,12 and 5 were turned over to Child Protective Services.

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