Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
A seemingly random traffic stop on the West Side early Thursday morning turned into a banner day for one Bernalillo County deputy after duffel bags stuffed with some 160 pounds of methamphetamine were found in the SUV.
Erica Gutierrez, 29, and Rodney Rodriguez, 68, both of California, were booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center and charged with distribution of a controlled substance. It is unclear if either has an attorney.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court:
A deputy pulled over a silver SUV around 1:40 a.m. on Interstate 40, just west of Unser, after the vehicle drifted on to the shoulder. The driver, Gutierrez, couldn’t provide the deputy with a driver’s license or paperwork for the vehicle, and Rodriguez stated it was a rental, but couldn’t give a rental agreement.
“During my contact, both were highly nervous,” the deputy wrote.
Gutierrez said the two were travelling from California to Oklahoma to check on a relative’s property, while Rodriguez said they were going to look at a house to buy. Gutierrez said Rodriguez, her “boyfriend’s father,” rented the SUV, but Rodriguez told the deputy that Gutierrez, his “friend,” rented it.
“I explained I can’t figure out who rented the vehicle and their stories were confusing,” the deputy wrote.
After the pair gave the deputy permission to search the vehicle, he noticed a brand new duffel bag, with the tags still on it, in the backseat and found a lot of meth inside.
Gutierrez told the deputy the bag belonged to Rodriguez before the deputy found another two duffel bags in the trunk, also filled with meth.
The total amount of meth seized was 167 pounds.