$100,000 worth of crystal meth seized near Ashland

An Oregon State Police traffic stop Wednesday morning on Interstate 5 near Ashland, about two miles north of the Oregon / California border, led to the discovery of nearly six pounds of crystal methamphetamine (worth approximately $100,000) and the arrest of two Woodburn-area men.

On May 20, 2009 at approximately 4:15 a.m. an OSP trooper stopped a 1990 Honda Accord displaying California license plates northbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 2 for a traffic violation.

The two occupants were subsequently identified as driver OCTAVIO PANIAGUA, age 32, and passenger FABIAN VILLALOBOS-CANTU, age 27, both from Woodburn.

An investigation during the stop, with the assistance of a narcotics detection canine, led to the discovery of approximately 5.7 pounds of crystal methamphetamine concealed within the vehicle.

Both men were taken into custody and lodged in the Jackson County Jail for Unlawful Manufacture, Possession, and Delivery of a Controlled Substance — Methamphetamine; and Identity Theft.

PANIAGUA is held on no bail due to an ICE hold. VILLALOBOS-CANTU is held on $500,000 bail.

During the three days following the arrests and seizure of an estimated $100,000 worth of crystal methamphetamine, Oregon State Police Drug Enforcement Section detectives conducted about 50 hours of cumulative follow up investigation prior to the release of this information.

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