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Investigations, traffic stops lead to multiple drug busts in November

Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Vader stands next to about $75,000 worth of marijuana seized after a traffic stop on Interstate 40 in Ash Fork on Nov. 25, 2019. (YCSO/Courtesy)

Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Vader stands next to about $75,000 worth of marijuana seized after a traffic stop on Interstate 40 in Ash Fork on Nov. 25, 2019. (YCSO/Courtesy)

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Kenneth Alan Hudson (YCSO/Courtesy)

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Joshua Garcia (YCSO/Courtesy)

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Sunny Rae Miles (YCSO/Courtesy)

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Adam Dean Laubinger (YCSO/Courtesy)

Three noteworthy drug busts recently took place in Yavapai County due to local law enforcement efforts.

All three involved traffic stops and the use of drug-sniffing K-9s.

BODY SCAN

In recent months, Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking (PANT) detectives developed information that 54-year-old Kenneth Hudson from Prescott was transporting and selling illicit drugs, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO).

Once the vehicle involved was identified, law enforcement monitored the area for its whereabouts. The vehicle was spotted by YCSO deputies on Nov. 26 and stopped for traffic violations on Highway 69, YCSO reported.

A man was driving the car and Hudson was a passenger. A Prescott Valley Police Department K-9 soon arrived and did an exterior sniff of the vehicle. After a positive alert from the K-9, Hudson and the driver were detained. PANT detectives were on scene to handle the investigation.

Detectives found drug packaging material inside the vehicle, YCSO reported. Due to car’s low height, it could not be searched completely and was transported to the YCSO’s evidence facility.

Detectives had developed information that Hudson and the driver were returning from Phoenix and likely transporting contraband, YCSO reported. Both were caught in several lies during interviews. Hudson was asked if he concealed anything on his person that would not normally be found during a routine search, even with a body scanner. He hesitated but did not answer directly.

Believing Hudson was hiding drugs somewhere on or within his body, the detective got a search warrant to use YCSO’s body scanner at the county jail in Camp Verde, YCSO reported.

At the jail, Hudson was warned that any drugs found would result in a charge of bringing contraband into a jail facility. Hudson became nervous, reached into his pants, and removed an object from his groin area containing more than half an ounce of heroin.

Hudson was booked into the jail on charges including possession of a narcotic drug, possession of a narcotic drug for sale and transportation of a narcotic drug. He remains in custody on a $2,500 bond.

HIDDEN METH

Over the past few months, PANT detectives became aware of 37-year-old Sunny Miles of Prescott and her involvement in the sales of methamphetamine, YCSO reported.

On Nov. 26, her vehicle was spotted and stopped for traffic violations on Highway 69 at Bradshaw Mountain Road in Prescott Valley. She was driving with a passenger, 45-year-old Adam Laubinger from Prescott.

A K-9 from the Prescott Police Department was deployed and alerted to the odor of narcotics coming from the vehicle.

During a search, officers found a white microwave oven in the trunk area. Inside the oven was a bag of unopened dog treats and inside the bag of treats was a large baggie containing methamphetamine, YCSO reported.

A more extensive search of the vehicle revealed two cans labeled ‘Red Bull,’ which were found by the back seat. One can was authentic, and the other was a ‘hide-a-can’ containing a baggie of crystal methamphetamine, YCSO reported. A loaded syringe containing half a gram of heroin was also found.

Miles and Laubinger were arrested and each booked on charges including possession of a dangerous drug (meth), possession of a dangerous drug for sale (meth), transportation of a dangerous drug for sale (meth), possession of a narcotic drug (heroin) and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. Both remain in custody on a $2,500 bond.

K-9 DEPUTY SEIZES POT

On Nov. 25, a YCSO K-9 deputy stopped a blue 2007 Toyota Corolla for moving violations on east Interstate 40 in Ash Fork. The driver and only occupant was 35-year-old Joshua Garcia from Texas.

During a conversation with Garcia, the deputy could smell marijuana coming from inside the car. When confronted, Garcia admitted to transporting packages of marijuana, YCSO reported.

A search revealed several garbage bags in the trunk. A total of about 30 pounds of marijuana was found in vacuum-sealed food-saver bags, YCSO reported. Additional marijuana products and paraphernalia were located in the glove compartment.

Garcia admitted to transporting marijuana for profit to Texas, YCSO reported. The estimated street value of the load is $75,000.

Garcia was booked into the Yavapai County jail in Camp Verde on charges including transportation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He has since been released on a $20,000 bond.

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