On June 25, 2019, deputies with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office FIND Unit stopped a Chevrolet Sonic on I-20 east bound, near South Baggett Road. During the course of the traffic stop, conflicting information from the vehicle’s occupants led to deputies requesting consent to search the vehicle. The search uncovered 4 metal cubes, made out of quarter inch steel. Each cube contained five rectangular tubes which were welded together with plates covering their contents. Each rectangular tube contained approximately 20 Kilograms of heroin. The driver of the vehicle, Catarino Lopez, from Mercedes Texas, was taken into custody for trafficking heroin.
Investigators with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division were contacted to assist in this case. Investigators learned that the heroin was being sent to a hotel in the Lithia Springs area to be picked up by individuals operating with Mr. Lopez. An operational plan was developed to deliver the narcotics to the other co-conspirators involved in this investigation.
Multiple assets from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, including the Special Investigations Division, FIND Unit, Uniform Patrol Division, and Command Staff were deployed to assist in this operation. On the morning of June 26, 2019, two individuals, who were later identified as Ulises Quiroa-Uriarte and Uriarte Leonel Valdez, arrived and took possession of the heroin shipment. Deputies involved in the operation were able to safely take these individuals into custody. All of the suspects in this case are currently being held without bond in the Douglas County Jail.
This is the largest recorded heroin seizure in Douglas County’s history. This is investigation is still active.