Cops: 5 pounds of meth found on bus
A southern California man was arrested Wednesday at the downtown Grand Junction bus depot after five pounds of methamphetamine were discovered in two of his suitcases, according to an arrest affidavit.
Victor Rocha, 25, of Wilmington, Calif., was ordered jailed on $150,000 bond on charges including suspicion of distribution of a controlled substance, and importation of a controlled substance, after seven members of the Western Colorado Drug Task Force met a bus Wednesday around noon at the Greyhound depot, 230 S. Fifth St. The bus originated in Los Angeles and was bound for Chicago.
The affidavit said with prior approval of Greyhound management, several of the officers started “examining” luggage in the lower bins of the bus when it stopped for routine maintenance, and after all passengers had disembarked for the brief stop.
“Although this requires lifting and moving the luggage it is no more than what is routinely done by Greyhound employees and baggage handlers,” an officer wrote in the affidavit. “It does not involve searching or manipulating the luggage.”
An officer, however, deemed one bag suspicious for being “unevenly weighted and light” for its size, the affidavit said.
The bag, which was removed by officers from the bus, was checked to Jose Orozco, who was headed to Kansas City, Mo.
According to the affidavit, when passengers reboarded, three officers got on the bus and one of them took to the loudspeaker: “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, we are detectives with local law enforcement. If it is OK with you we would like to come on board and ask everyone a few questions. It is not our intention to delay your departure. Feel free to move about as you normally would.”
One officer asked each passenger permission to search their bags, while, “some gave consent and some refused,” the affidavit noted.
One man, whose ticket identified him as Jose Orozco, appeared “visibly shaking” and stuttering when questioned by an officer, the affidavit said. He allegedly consented to a search of his luggage, which was when the seized meth was discovered.
When placed into custody, the man identified himself as Juan Sanchez, offering a Mexican ID which appeared to be fake, the affidavit said. Questioned further, he identified himself as Victor Rocha, “and admitted he had previously been deported,” the affidavit said.
During an advisement hearing Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Rich Tuttle told a judge that Rocha was convicted on a felony drug-sale charge in California in 2011.