A quick search on the side of Interstate 10 led Baldwin County sheriff’s deputies to 28 pounds of methamphetamine during an otherwise routine traffic stop.
It was a white Kia Optima with Georgia license plates that caught the attention of police near the 53-mile marker on I-10 East Tuesday night. According to deputies, the occupants — neither of which was the vehicle’s owner — said they were traveling from Houston to the Tampa Bay area.
The driver, Kevin Silva Tavares, told police they were both traveling “to work for approximately two months.” The passenger, Jose Luis Arias Castillo, then reportedly said he was traveling from Dallas to see a city in Florida he was unable to identify when speaking with officers on the scene.
A press release about the incident said Tavares and Castillo both had several articles of religious paraphernalia on their person and spread throughout the vehicle.
Officers ultimately requested to search the vehicle and the men complied, leading them to an aftermarket speaker box in the trunk. Noting the box was “extremely heavy,” police used a handheld x-ray device on the speaker box, revealing several “bundles” concealed inside of it.Those bundles were later discovered to be approximately 28 pounds of methamphetamine or ICE as it’s commonly referred to. Police have speculated a quantity that large could be worth close to $1 million on the street.
A stolen firearm was also discovered elsewhere in the vehicle.
Tavares and Castillo were arrested on the scene and charged with trafficking a controlled substance and receiving stolen property.They were booked into the Baldwin County Corrections Center, where they were still being held without bond as of Wednesday afternoon.
No mugshot of Tavares was available in Baldwin County jail records kept online.