More than $700,000 worth of black tar heroin is off the streets, thanks to a very alert Oklahoma County deputy.
The sheriff's office says the deputy noticed an out of state SUV making an illegal lane change. When the driver started acting suspicious during the traffic stop, the deputy knew to dig a little deeper.
That driver is currently being held at the Oklahoma County jail on a $40,000 bond, after that deputy, and his K9 partner, found the black tar heroin hidden inside the driver's side door and the passenger side door too.
3/25/2014 Related Story: Oklahoma Co. Deputies Find 6 Pounds Of Heroin During Traffic Stop
The area around I-40 and Meridian ended up being the end of the road for the driver, who has been identified as Jaime Valenzuela-Buelna. Court papers show he is from Mexico, and claimed to be driving from Ohio to Arizona.
"The driver was very nervous and acting suspicious," said Mark Myers with the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office.
Myers says that was enough for the deputy to grab his K9 Thor to search the SUV during that traffic stop. And within a matter of minutes, the dog sniffed out the drugs - almost six pounds worth of black tar heroin - all wrapped up in plastic bundles.
Thor is the same dog that made a major drug bust just last month.
He sniffed out more than 34 pounds of methamphetamine, wrapped in 20 plastic bundles, during a different routine traffic stop.
"This is a really good dog," said Myers. "This is why we have those K9s because they can do things that we as humans can't. And using their nose is just a great benefit to law enforcement."
Agents with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics say they are seeing an upswing in the number of heroin cases they see in Oklahoma, but not to the degree they are seeing on the east coast.
"These cartels are using Oklahoma's highway system and stash houses to move all types of drugs," said Mark Woodward, who is a spokesperson for the OBN.
Woodward says opiate addiction and abuse are at epidemic levels across the country -with people getting hooked on pain pills, and then delving into the dark world of heroin when their doctors cut them off of their medication.
"It's a perfect storm right now," said Woodward.
Besides that six pounds of heroin that was found in those hidden compartments underneath the car, that deputy also found almost $9,000 in the car and on the driver himself.
Valenzuela-Buelna is currently accused of aggravated drug trafficking and possessing drug proceeds. He is also being held by immigration, who is checking to see if he was in the country illegally.