Duplin Sheriff's Office: Honduran illegal arrested in meth bust

Duplin County Officials Uncover Massive Methamphetamine ...

Duplin County and Federal officials arrest an illegal alien from Honduras for smuggling in methamphetamine in horse saddles. (more)

Jose Arturo Almendarez-Carcamo

Jose Arturo Almendarez-Carcamo is charged with three counts of trafficking methamphetamine, flee/elude arrest, and other charges.
By Alex Freedman
Published: May 26, 2010

They're calling it the biggest methamphetamine bust in eastern North Carolina.

Duplin County deputies arrested one man and collected more than 17 pounds of meth. It started when they stopped his car outside rose hill.

Deputes say they've busted a potential drug smuggling business before it took hold in the east.

They arrested 21-year-old Jose Almendarez-Carcamo after a two week investigation sparked by a tip to law enforcement officials.

Deputies discovered three pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a horse saddle in his car.

They went to his home on Blind Bridge Road in Magnolia and found another 14 pounds of meth, all hidden in horse saddles.

Almendarez is in the states illegally. Duplin County Sheriff Blake Wallace says Almendarez is not working alone.

"We feel certain that there are more folks involved in this and it's an ongoing investigation and we anticipate additional arrests," said Sheriff Wallace.

Sheriff officials say that drug smugglers are getting creative and using things like these horse saddles to smuggle their drugs.

"We have taking a very proactive response to that and believe that because of our proactive approach that we were able to take this large amount of drugs off the street," said Sheriff Wallace.

The Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency has stepped in. They will eventually deport Almendarez back to Honduras.

Almendarez has been charged with three counts of trafficking methamphetamine and another count of eluding arrest. He's in jail under a $1.5 million dollar bond.

The street value of the meth is more than a million dollars.