Two in custody for possession of over 100 pounds of illegal drugs, police say
Dec 13, 2023, 11:37 AM | Updated: 11:43 am
GRAND COUNTY — Two people were arrested on suspicion of possession of illegal substances after police said they found over 100 pounds combined of fentanyl, meth, and cocaine.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Jamie Verla, 49, and Andrea Mshel, 36, were taken into custody on Monday during a traffic stop on Interstate 70.
Police initiated a traffic stop because the passenger-side tail light was out. During this stop, the officer had K9 Zora, a certified narcotics detection canine. Zora indicated the odor of narcotics was present on the vehicle and officers advised Verla that they would be searching his vehicle.
Under the tail gate of the vehicle, the officer located 14 packages containing small blue pill size items. The officer identified the pills as illegal drugs and placed Verla and Mshel under arrest.
During the search of the rest of the vehicle officers located, one large package of small blue pills concealed within the front driver seat, six large yellow packages, one white package and seven white bricks in an altered panel behind the rear seat.
Verla and Mshel were transported to the Grand County Jail where Verla was advised before entering the jail to disclose of any contraband he may have on his person.
After being warned, inside the jail a small white bag containing white powder was located on Verla’s person.
This substance later tested presumptively positive for cocaine.
The 14 packages initially located inside the vehicle’s tailgate along with the additional two packages found in the front seats are estimated to be approximately 300,00 pills of Fentanyl, with an approximate weight of 66.6 pounds.
The six yellow packages and one white package found in the compartment tested presumptively positive for methamphetamine with an approximate weight of 36.8 pounds. The seven white bricks tested positive for cocaine weighing approximately 19 pounds.
Mshel will likely be charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance with an intent to distribute, a second-degree felony.
Verla will likely face the following charges: three counts of possession of a controlled substance with an intent to distribute, possession of a controlled substance inside a correctional facility, altering a vehicle to transport contraband, and an equipment violation.