13 pounds of meth found in gas tank of woman's car, authorities say

clambert@thetribunenews.comMay 15, 2013 

An Anaheim woman was arrested Monday after a San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputy stopped her vehicle on Highway 101 north of the Cuesta Grade and found 13 one-pound packages of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $228,000, according to the county Sheriff’s Office.

Maria Guadalupe Garcia, 32, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance for sale and transporting a controlled substance, both felonies, as well as three counts of child endangerment.

She remained in San Luis Obispo County Jail on Wednesday in lieu of $1 million bail.

Deputy Al Barger and his K-9, Jack, were traveling north on Highway 101 about 7:15 p.m. Monday when Barger noticed the car in front of him make several abrupt lane changes, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Barger ran a check on the license plate and discovered the vehicle registration had expired. He pulled over the vehicle, containing Garcia and three children, and learned Garcia had a criminal history of transporting drugs, sheriff’s officials said.

Garcia consented to a search of her vehicle, and had her three children leave the car. Jack sniffed the car and indicated that drugs were present in the back seat area; Barger noticed the back seat was loose and removed it, exposing a metal plate above the gas tank that was missing a screw.

Barger removed the plate and found plastic packages floating in the gas tank, sheriff’s officials said.

Garcia was arrested, and Child Protective Services took custody of her children, ages 5, 12, and 15 years old.

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