33 pounds of meth gets feds' attention

Oregon State Police say they seized more than 33 pounds of meth from David Contreras Sr. during a freeway traffic stop near Gold Hill.

Two Salem men face federal charges in the wake of a Southern Oregon traffic stop that police say yielded more than 33 pounds of methamphetamine.

David Contreras Sr., 48, and Elieser Villa, 20, were indicted last week on a felony drug charge stemming from an April 9 traffic stop near Gold Hill, in which Oregon State Police seized 15 kilograms of methamphetamine and more than $9,000 in cash, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Medford.

Contreras was arraigned Monday on the meth charge filed by a federal grand jury, U.S. District court records show, and remains held in the Jackson County Jail without bail. Earlier drug charges filed against Contreras in Jackson County were dismissed Monday, Jackson County Circuit Court records show.

Court documents filed by OSP in Contreras’ state case named Villa as the driver and Contreras as the passenger of a silver Jeep Liberty SUV pulled over near milepost 39 on northbound Interstate 5. A drug-sniffing K9 led police to the methamphetamine, divided into a dozen packages.

In addition to the drugs, police found $3,025 in cash and multiple pieces of alleged fake identification belonging to Contreras, along with $6,000 in a backpack, court documents state.

Villa has not yet been arraigned on the federal charge filed May 1, and had not faced charges when the case was pending in state court, records show. The OSP filing shows that Villa had been questioned prior to his release from police custody.

When police asked Villa whether he had any gang affiliation, Villa allegedly told police he had ties to “a Southside gang,” court documents state.

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