Charges Held to County Court Against California Couple Found with “Bulk” Heroin, Cash

MORRIS TOWNSHIP – A California couple is behind bars after allegedly being found with a bulk of heroin and currency.

Ricardo Mercado Sanchez, 39, and Luisa Fernanda Patino Sandoval, 32, both of La Puente, Calif., have been charged with one felony count of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver.

Both had the drug offense held to court Wednesday following a preliminary hearing during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail.

The charges stem from a traffic stop that occurred at approximately 3:31 p.m. Aug. 8 on a Dodge caravan bearing a Utah registration, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed with the office of Magisterial District Judge Jerome Nevling.

A trooper activated his emergency equipment after witnessing multiple traffic violations. Sanchez was identified as the driver and Sandoval as the front-seat passenger, and consent was obtained to search the vehicle.

The search yielded a bulk of heroin, suspected fentanyl and a digital scale concealed in a large, powdered laundry detergent container. Bulk currency was also seized from inside, state police said.

Both Sanchez and Sandoval denied ownership of the contraband. The amount of heroin is suspected to be in excess of one kilogram.


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