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Cops seize $3.75 million in fentanyl, $100K in cash, after I-77 big rig traffic stop

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Two people were arrested in Iredell County, North Carolina, on Sunday, after police uncovered a large amount of illegal drugs during an I-77 big rig traffic stop.

On Sunday, December 10, officers with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Interstate Criminal Enforcement Team (ICE) stopped a 2014 Freightliner along I-77 in Iredell County, North Carolina, for a traffic violation.

Lorenzo Juan Arreola
Lucio Eduardo Chavira Avila

Inside the truck were Lorenzo Juan Arreola, 44, from New Mexico, and Lucio Eduardo Chavira Avila, 33, from Mexico. According to the Iredell County Sheriff, they told police that they were transporting a load of tile from Charlotte, North Carolina to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

During the traffic stop, Police Canine “Groot” alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle.

Police searched the truck and trailer and found 118 pounds of suspected fentanyl possibly mixed with cocaine. They also found more than $100,000 in cash in the cab of the truck.

Authorities say that the street value of the seized drugs is approximately $3,752,000.

Lorenzo Juan Arreola and Lucio Eduardo Chavira Avila were arrested and held on a $3.5 million dollar secured bond each. Police say they are working to determine whether the two men are inside the U.S. legally.

“Groot, the deputy canine that was used to detect the narcotics, in this case, was purchased using asset forfeiture money from drug dealers. Groot is trained in detecting narcotics, specializing in fentanyl,” the Iredell County Sheriff said.

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