TAYLORSVILLE N.C. – A Morganton man was arrested on drug charges Tuesday in connection with a drug trafficking operation in Alexander County and surrounding counties.
Jose Ivan Gallardo, 27, of John Coffey Road was charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance and placed under a $50,000 bond in the Alexander County Detention Center.
An Alexander County Sheriff’s Office patrol sergeant observed a suspicious vehicle in a residential driveway at 7154 N.C. 16 South in Taylorsville, according to a news release from the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office. The sergeant approached the vehicle and the driver identified himself as Gallardo.
Gallardo told the officer he was a caretaker for the residence. The sergeant continued to investigate and requested a drug detection canine and handler respond to the scene. When the canine arrived, officers were alerted to the presence of illegal narcotics in the passenger compartment of Gallardo’s vehicle.
Officers discovered about 16 grams of methamphetamine concealed inside a baby diaper container in the vehicle.
The residence where Gallardo’s vehicle was stopped has been under the surveillance of the Narcotics and Patrol Divisions for the past six months. The release states that the residence has been identified as a possible narcotic storage location used by Mexican nationals involved in large-scale drug trafficking.
Based on the narcotics seized from Gallardo’s vehicle and intelligence gathered in the investigation of the residence, officers obtained a search warrant for the residence. Inside, officers discovered and seized nearly one pound of crystal methamphetamine, a quantity of cocaine, heroin and marijuana, and an assault rifle.
Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have also become involved in the investigation due to Gallardo’s status as a possible illegal immigrant.
Gallardo admitted to officers during the investigation that he is a member of the Zetas Mexican drug cartel. More arrests are possible as the investigation continues.