Springfield Police: Talking about Tasers leads to shocking quantity of drugs
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - A chat about Taser stun guns turned a traffic stop into a massive drug bust last weekend, Springfield Police said.
Officers seize drugs worth $450,000, along with $50,000 cash, 5 assault rifles, body armor and other items - including the stun gun that started the conversation between the suspect and Officer Conner O’Leary.
“This is one of the most significant seizures we have encountered in a long time," Lt. Scott McKee said. "The citizens of Springfield should be proud of the fact that Officer O’Leary had the intuitive sense to question this man and dig a little deeper into his story.”
Carlos Gabriel Morfin-Pedroza, 37, faces charges of Unlawful Delivery Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine, Heroin, Cocaine, police said.
Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration are now involved in the investigation, McKee said.
The situation started to take shape at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
That's when O'Leary pulled Morfin over after watching the man pull into the parking lot of a Harlow Road apartment complex.
O'leary suspected the driver - later identified as Morfin - could be intoxicated.
"With no identification in his vehicle, the man invited the officer to his apartment to obtain his wallet," Springfield Police said in a report. "Once inside, the man provided authentic looking forged identification he handed the officer and began chatting with the officer about the taser the officer wore on his duty-belt - telling the officer he had his own police issue taser he said he found in Medford."
That piqued Officer O'Leary's interest.
The suspect went back to his car and pulled out the Taser.
The serial number had been obliterated, but investigators later determined it had been stolen the Lane County Sheriff’s Office.
While talking about Tasers, the officer spotted "a crystalline substance sprinkled on the surface of the carpet in the car," according to the police report.
That's when a Springfield Police drug detection dog joined the investigation.
The dog told its handler the crystalline substance was drugs - and helped sniff out more.
"By the end of what began as a routine stop, the officer seized methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin with a combined street value of $450,000," according to the report.
Police also seized "U.S. Currency in excess of $50,000, three SKS assault rifles, an AK-47 assault rifle, an AR-15 assault rifle, a stolen handgun, a ballistic vest, hundreds of rounds of ammunition loaded into high-capacity magazines and a variety of tactical gear and other firearms equipment and accessories."