Des Moines police have made what they believe to be the biggest heroin seizure in the city’s history.
Police say its narcotics investigators developed information that led them to two vehicles parked at a convenience store near NE 14th Street and I-80 on July 13th. After a search, three pounds of methamphetamine and 11 pounds of heroin were discovered in a hidden compartment of one of the vehicles. The drugs were stashed in the gas tank.
"That was surprising to see that many, that quantity. We usually don't see that level here in Des Moines or in Iowa," says Des Moines Police Sgt. Jason Halifax.
In 2012, Des Moines narcotics officers seized just over 11 grams of heroin. Halifax say the 11 pound bust equals about 4900 grams. The street value of the drugs is estimated at $1.3 million, but they could be worth as much as $3 million if the high purity drugs were cut.
"Their investigation indicates that the heroin was actually headed to another state, perhaps Illinois or Indiana. We believe the methamphetamine was going to stay here in the state," says Halifax.
Two Arizona men have been arrested in connection with the case. Fifty-year-old Abraham Diaz-Rodriguez and 42-year-old Ismael Portillo-Corrales are being held in the Polk County Jail. They are charged with possession with the intent to deliver schedule I and II narcotics, conspiracy to deliver schedule I and II narcotics, and no tax stamp.
The Polk County Sherriff's Office says Diaz-Rodriguez also has an immigration hold. Federal authorities are looking into his citizenship.