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OSP Traffic Stop Uncovers Second Large Seizure of Suspected Cocaine
02/27/2009
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Marion County Sheriff's Office
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In less than one week, Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers have made a significant seizure of suspected cocaine during a traffic stop. The latest traffic stop Thursday afternoon on Interstate 5 north of Woodburn led to the arrest of three men and the seizure of approximately 51 lbs. of suspected cocaine.
 
On February 26, 2009 at approximately 4:00 p.m. an OSP trooper stopped a rented silver Mazda passenger car northbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 275 for failing to maintain a lane of travel and suspicion of DUII. The car was occupied by three men identified as driver JOEL LUCIAN RUELAS-CASTRO, age 31, from Mexico; passenger MANUEL ALBERTO CASTRO LUGO, age 38, from Mexico; and, RIGO HUMBERTO LAMAS-PONCE (aka: Ivan Santiago-Mendes), age 29, from southeast Portland.
 
Subsequent investigation during the traffic stop led to the discovery of approximately 51 lbs. of suspected cocaine with an estimated value of about $700,000. An OSP drug detection canine assisted during the stop.
 
The three men were taken into custody by OSP troopers and lodged in Marion County Jail on the following charges:
 
JOEL LUCIAN RUELAS-CASTRO
* Unlawful Possession, Distribution, and Manufacturing a Controlled Substance – Cocaine
 
MANUEL ALBERTO CASTRO LUGO
* Unlawful Possession, Distribution, and Manufacturing a Controlled Substance – Cocaine
 
RIGO HUMBERTO LAMAS-PONCE
* Unlawful Possession, Distribution, and Manufacturing a Controlled Substance – Cocaine
* Warrant (Multnomah County) – Unlawful Possession and Distribution of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
* Warrant (Multnomah County) – Driving While Suspended
 
Marion County Jail records indicate all three men have INS holds.
 
The investigation is being continued by detectives assigned to the OSP Drug Enforcement Section.
 
This arrest was unrelated to last Friday's traffic stop and subsequent arrest of two individuals on Interstate 5 about two miles south of Canyonville after discovering approximately 31 lbs. of cocaine concealed in their vehicle.