Homewood police announced Friday they've arrested a 19-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico on drug and weapons charges after pulling him over in a traffic stop. Police believe he may be connected to a Mexican drug cartel.
Homewood officers pulled over Juan Alberto Canedo at the intersection on Valley Avenue and Greensprings for a traffic violation on Tuesday, May 14.
Police say a K-9 unit recently added to the department detected the drugs in a hidden compartment in the car. Officers found more than 30 ounces of red, white and blue crystal methamphetamines plus an automatic pistol.
With a street value of around $127,000, this is the most meth ever confiscated in Homewood, Police Chief Jim Roberson said.
Roberson believes 19-year-old Canedo is likely a mule, or transporter of drugs, in the Mexican drug cartel. Police say around 80 percent of the meth trade in the U.S. has been taken over by the Mexican drug cartel due to a crackdown on meth by states.
"We are desperately trying to stem the tide of illegal drugs into our country in general and in Homewood specifically," Roberson said.
Homewood mayor Scott McBrayer congratulated his officers. McBrayer says the arrest demonstrates the city's commitment to fighting drugs.
"Homewood is watching and it's not something our residents and businesses will tolerate. Thankfully we've got a community that will back that up," McBrayer said.
Canedo is charged with trafficking methamphetamine, carrying a pistol without a permit and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Canedo, who is originally from Tijuana, Mexico, is being held in the Jefferson County Jail on no bond. He is considered a flight risk.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement are working together with Homewood police on this case.
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