DATF Agents seize 2.5 pounds of heroin, 1 arrested

Staff Writer

An Arizona woman faces an aggravated trafficking of heroin charge after being stopped by District Attorney’s Drug and Major Crime Task Force on Tuesday near Goodwell.
Maria Letisia Duarte-Raya, of Phoenix, Arizona, was placed under arrest after DATF agents seized about 2.5 pounds of heroin.
About 8:40 a.m., agents made an interdiction stop of a Honda vehicle near Goodwell and identified the driver and single occupant as Duarte-Raya. She told an agent that she was delivering the vehicle to a friend in Kansas City and was flying back home later that day.
After further inquiry about her travel plans, the agents became suspicious that Duarte-Raya was transporting controlled dangerous substances. She told agents she had been stopped and that the vehicle had been searched in Arizona the day before. However, agents felt further investigation was needed and obtained consent from Duarte-Raya to search the vehicle.
As they began the search, an agent noticed that it appeared that the front bumper of the Honda had been previously removed. The agent also observed a small amount of foam protruding out of the metal bumper frame work. When agents removed the bumper, they found four small packages that were wrapped numerous times in cellophane and black tape.
Further investigation revealed the packages - weighing 2.9 pounds - contained and estimated about 2.5 pounds of heroin. The estimated street value of the drugs was placed between $400,000 to $500,000 by District Attorney Mike Boring.
The use of heroin is already at epidemic across the nation and has resulted in increased deaths from overdoses. Heroin and methamphetamine are directly related to and have resulted in many violent crimes occurring across the country. The almost free flow of these dangerous drugs across the border from Mexico imposes an ever increasing burden on society in dealing with a host of serious problems associated with drug addiction and drug trafficking.
Duarte-Raya was booked into Texas County jail pending the filing of formal charges in the District Court of Texas County. Her first court appearance is expected next week.