Two Love County men and a Colorado Springs, Colo. woman are behind bars in the Carter County Detention Center facing methamphetamine trafficking charges.
Rafael Salazar, 35, Juan Sanchez-Castaneda, 26, and Elizabeth Velarde, 24, were detained on $100,000 bonds in a case that began Jan. 4 when Officer Jared Johnson, Ardmore Police Department Patrol Division, responded to a late night report of passengers in a white Tahoe, looking through residential mailboxes in the 1100 block of C Street SW.
Capt. Keith Ingle, APD Criminal Investigations Division, said Johnson’s search for the vehicle ended in a South Commerce Street motel parking lot. Ingle said Johnson located the SUV as it was pulling into the parking lot. During the routine investigation that followed an odor of marijuana and the discovery of a used syringe led to a probable cause search of the vehicle.
“A bag containing in excess of 20 grams of a white, crystal substance field tested positive for methamphetamine and the three were arrested,” Ingle said.
The trio was taken into custody without incident and the two men and their female companion were booked into the county jail pending formal charges. First Assistant District Attorney Heather Cooper filed the single counts of trafficking in illegal drugs against the trio. The group made initial appearances in Carter County District Court before Special District Judge Carson Brooks who set the bonds and scheduled a case conference for 9 a.m. Feb. 2.
If convicted each member of the group faces from four years to life in prison.