SVPD makes three large drug busts on Wednesday

Adam Curtis Police Press Releases, Public Affairs Press Releases

SVPD Officer Joanna Durham and K9 Jucon

The Sierra Vista Police Department seized nearly 100 grams of methamphetamine in three separate busts that occurred on Wednesday, with the department’s new K9 Jucon assisting with two busts on her first day on the job.

The first drug bust resulted from a traffic stop at about 2:45 a.m. on Wednesday and netted about 29 grams of meth and two guns. An SVPD officer initiated the stop after observing a vehicle with no taillights and a fake license plate.

The stop led to the arrest of 28-year-old Sierra Vista resident Joseph Gray for possession of dangerous drugs for sale, drug paraphernalia, misconduct with a weapon, prohibited possession of a weapon, transport of drugs for sale, driving on a suspended license, and open container. The stop also resulted in the arrest of 24-year-old Bisbee resident Eduardo Flores on a warrant for possession of dangerous drugs. Flores was also charged with possession of dangerous drugs, possession of dangerous drugs for sale, misconduct with a weapon, and prohibited possession of a weapon. Both are being held in Cochise County Jail on $5,000 bonds.

Joseph Gray

Eduardo Flores

The next bust occurred at about 11 a.m. when another traffic stop netted 36.07 grams of meth. SVPD officer Joanna Durham and her K9 partner Jucon assisted with the discovery of two large baggies of meth, a scale, and small baggies hidden under the driver’s seat of the vehicle.

That bust resulted in the arrest of 37-year-old Sierra Vista resident Michelle Phipps. Phipps was charged with possession of dangerous drugs, possession of dangerous drugs for sale, transporting drugs for sale, and possession of drug paraphernalia. She is being held in Cochise County Jail without bond.

Michelle Phipps

The third bust occurred when SVPD officers responded to the Valero gas station located at 3999 E. Fry Blvd. for a report of a subject possibly using drugs in the bathroom. Officers made contact with 26-year-old Douglas resident Luis Velazquez and found 32.39 grams of meth and over 250 “M30” Fentanyl pills on his person. Subsequently Jucon was requested to conduct an open-air search of the vehicle Velazquez was in. The search revealed more M30 Fentanyl pills, a scale, and a glass pipe used to smoke meth.

Velazquez was arrested and charged with two counts each of possession of narcotic drugs for sale, possession of narcotic drugs, possession of dangerous drugs for sale, and possession of dangerous drugs. He was also charged with one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia and transport of drugs for sale. He is being held on a $5,000 bond.

Luis Velazquez

“Today’s arrests put a significant dent in the illegal drug trade,” SVPD Commander Lawrence Boutte says. “This shows how a ‘routine’ traffic stop or an observant citizen can have a very real impact in getting illegal drugs off the street and putting criminals in jail.

“In a single day over 97 grams of Meth, at a street value of about $2,900, was taken off the street. This demonstrates illegal drug activity is an ongoing problem and we all must be vigilant and report suspicious activity.”