Arizona man accused of drug trafficking on I-70 likely to take plea deal
One of two men implicated in the April Fool’s Day Interstate 70 drug bust appears likely to take a plea deal after a court appearance Tuesday.
Iran Torres, 19, of Phoenix, Arizona, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday in light of a potential plea deal that his attorney is negotiating with the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, according to comments made Tuesday.
Torres faces a total of 12 felony drug charges, including three counts of a special offender sentencing enhancement, after he and another driver were stopped by deputies from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office the morning of April 1 on I-70 near Gypsum.
The deputies, who were working with the Gore Range Narcotics Interdiction Team, searched Torres’ car as well as the car of Guadalupe Valdez Jr., 21, of Tolleson, Arizona, who had been driving closely behind Torres.
Law enforcement officials initiated the search after a few things made them think something was off with the drivers, according to police reports from that day. As deputies talked to the two drivers individually, Torres identified Valdez as his cousin, but Valdez claimed not to know Torres before later changing his story. Multiple other aspects of Torres’ story did not add up and the deputy asked to do a voluntary search of the car to which Torres consented.
With the help of a K-9, deputies located approximately 21 pounds of methamphetamine, 2.2 pounds of heroin and 0.25 pounds of fentanyl pills between the two cars, according to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.
As a result, Torres was charged with nine class 1 drug felonies and three class 4 drug felonies, including possession of controlled substances with the intent to distribute, according to court records.
Torres has remained in the Eagle County Detention Center since Judge Rachel Olguin-Fresquez set his bond at $75,000 at the start of April.
Valdez is set to appear in court Wednesday morning for an arraignment on similar charges levied against him.
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