Traffic stop leads to arrests, possibly stolen items

Traffic stop leads to arrests, possibly stolen items

A traffic stop on Interstate 5 Tuesday morning led to the recovery of $3,000 in alleged stolen merchandise bound for resale in Mexico, Oregon State Police said.

OSP Senior Trooper Greg Constanzo and recruit Jessica Stotler stopped a speeding 1997 Ford Explorer displaying Mexico license plates at Milepost 17 near Ashland.

A search of the Explorer turned up a cache of household items such as telephones and crock pots, diapers, video games, children's toys and clothes stolen from Willamette Valley department stores, police say.

Most of the items still had store price tags attached. OSP officials are contacting merchants to verify the property was stolen.

Arrested were driver Jose Castelo-Nunez, 24, and Blas Enrique Sanchez-Verdugo, 37, both of Mexico. They were lodged in the Jackson County Jail on charges of first-degree theft and theft by receiving.

In addition, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents charged both men with suspicion of being in the country illegally. They were held without bail late Tuesday.

OSP officials believe the pair intended to resell the stolen merchandise in Mexico.

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