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Police find 20 pounds of meth concealed inside cooler

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — Idaho State Police reportedly found 20 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in the sides of a cooler Friday.

The incident began when an ISP trooper pulled over a Lincoln Navigator with California plates for expired registration. The stop occurred on Interstate 15 near Idaho Falls.

During the traffic stop, the trooper noted burnt marijuana smells coming from the SUV driven by 27-year-old Pedro Reyes Carreno, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com.

Investigators spoke with Carreno and a woman in the car who said they had just bought the vehicle and did not have insurance. As more troopers showed up at the traffic stop, a search of the SUV uncovered a few baggies filled with what investigators believed was meth. Troopers also found a drug ledger and a cellphone receiving messages in Spanish about a drug transaction, according to court documents.

After finding the drugs and the ledger ISP took the SUV back to their office for a more extensive search. During the search, troopers reported finding a gray cooler with broken plastic pieces that looked to have been glued together. A trooper removed a side panel which showed multiple plastic baggies with what looked to be more meth.

When asked what was inside the cooler, Carreno said there were 20 pounds of meth, according to court documents. Carreno also said he was making the drug run to Montana while affiliated with a cartel group. Carreno said he made the drug run, fearing the cartel would harm him or his partner.

Federal investigators were called in to conduct more investigations and the woman was released without being charged. Carreno was booked into the Bonneville County Jail.

Prosecutors have charged Carreno with felony trafficking of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Although Carreno is accused of a crime, it does not necessarily mean he committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Carreno made his initial court appearance on Monday, where Magistrate Judge Mark Riddoch set his bail at $100,000.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 10 at the Bonneville County Jail.

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