I-5 stop: Dog carrier in rental car hides one pound of meth

Friday, February 2, 2018 at 7:22 pm
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Tiana M. Good, in green, faces a judge as Michael A. Esparza looks on in Lewis County Superior Court

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Local drug detectives and personnel with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration tracked the driver of a high end rental car up Interstate 5 into Chehalis yesterday and subsequently seized just over a pound of methamphetamine tucked into a dog carrier in the vehicle.

They also located what was described as a large bundle of U.S. currency in numerous denominations as well as a loaded pistol when they searched the car.

Michael A. Esparza, 23, and Tiana M. Good, 24, who live together in Lynnwood, were arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail. They were charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

The duo had just traveled 20 hours straight from the Los Angeles area when they were pulled over yesterday evening, according to court documents.

Temporary defense attorney Rachael Tiller told a judge this afternoon Good is a full-time accounting student at Edmonds Community College and Esparza is self employed as a barber. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Paul Masiello pointed out Esparza had California identification when bail was discussed.

Neither appeared to have any criminal convictions, according to the two lawyers.

Her bail was set at $10,000. His at $20,000.

Charging documents in the case state it was about 5:35 p.m. when law enforcement officers identified Esparza as the driver of a dark gray 2017 Chrysler 300C with Washington license plates. They knew his driving privileges were suspended and revoked.

A detective with the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team positively identified Esparza as the driver during “rolling” surveillance, according to the documents.

Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Dan Riordan stopped the car on northbound Interstate 5 at milepost 74.

Good had a small white dog on her lap, according to Masiello.

A Clark County deputy and his drug-sniffing K-9 were summoned, because Esparza had a “suspicious story” of his travels from California and being in a high-end rental car, according to the documents.

The car was searched, after the K-9 showed an interest in the interior of the car, according to the documents.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Joel DeFazio wrote in charging documents that a large ziplock baggie containing large shards and a white crystal substance was located inside the soft-sided dog carrier. A sample of the approximately 461 grams field-tested positive for meth, according to DeFazio.

DeFazio states in the documents that under the passenger seat was a Springfield XD 40 caliber pistol, with a loaded magazine in the well. A records check showed it was stolen in Pierce County on Dec. 19, 2016.

Court appointed lawyers were assigned to Esparza  and Good. Their arraignments were scheduled for Feb. 15.

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One Response to “I-5 stop: Dog carrier in rental car hides one pound of meth”

  1. XDs says:

    The true meaning of Meth Lab!

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