Crime

January 31, 2013

Modesto Airport passenger accused of smuggling meth in pants

A Fresno man was arrested at the Modesto Regional Airport Thursday after he was found to have two pounds of methamphetamine strapped between his legs.

A Fresno man was arrested at the Modesto airport Thursday after he was found to have 2 pounds of methamphetamine strapped between his legs.

Just before 6 a.m., Oscar Luis Rodriguez, 29, was pulled aside by Transportation Security Administration agents for a pat down after his luggage tested positive for nitrates, according to Modesto police Lt. Jolene Gonzales.

Agents could tell Rodriguez was concealing something in his pants so police were called to talk to him.

Gonzales said officers found 2 pounds of methamphetamine between the man’s legs: 1 pound strapped to the front of his pelvis and the other to the back, held in place by three pairs of underwear.

Rodriguez had planned to take a 7 a.m. flight to Hawaii via a transfer in San Francisco. Police believe he came from Fresno to Modesto because he thought he’d have better luck passing a security check in a smaller airport.

But that isn’t the case, Gonzales said.

“Don’t come here, because the TSA is going to take a critical look at you,” she said.

Methamphetamine in Hawaii, Gonzales said, sells for as much as $40,000 a pound.

Rodriguez was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine for sale and booked at the Stanislaus County Jail. Gonzales said the Drug Enforcement Administration is investigating the case and likely will pursue federal transportation charges with a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

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