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History-making heroin bust follows traffic stop on I-20

The stop uncovered several tubes each filled with 20 kilograms - or about 44 pounds - of the deadly drug.
Credit: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — It's the largest heroin seizure in Douglas County's 149-year history - and it was found in the back of a small car during a traffic stop.

Several pounds of the deadly drug were found when members of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office's FIND Unit stopped a Chevrolet Sonic on I-20 heading east near South Baggett Road on June 25.

Investigators said conflicting information from the men inside the vehicle led them to ask for permission to search the vehicle.  Soon, authorities uncovered four large metal cubes. Each cube contained five tubes. And each of those tubes, according to Douglas County investigations, was 20 kilograms - or about 44 pounds - of heroin.

Investigators later learned that the heroin was being taken to a Litha Springs-area hotel to be picked up by others working for the person driving the car, Catarino Lopez.

Credit: Douglas County Sheriff's Office
Heroin pulled from car during traffic stop on June 25, 2019

A multi-unit investigation eventually uncovered two alleged co-conspirators and, on July 26, Ulises Quiroa-Uriarte and Uriarte Leonel Valdez were taken into custody.

Each man is being held without bond in the Douglas County Jail. Members of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Division, FIND Unit, Uniform Patrol Division and Command Staff were all involved in the operation.

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