Man busted for narcotics along I-5 in Fresno County

Man arrested in Fresno County after traffic stop results in discovery of 262 pounds of narcotics worth roughly $2.6 million

By Mid Valley Times Staff
Published July 6, 2024  • 
9:00 am
(California Highway Patrol)
(California Highway Patrol)

FRESNO – During a traffic stop on Interstate 5 in Fresno County, a California Highway Patrol K-9 officer seized approximately 262 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, five pounds of fentanyl powder and two pounds of heroin. The discovery of the drugs, with an estimated street value of approximately $2,669,520 resulted in the arrest of Isaac Abraham Sandoval Lopez, 36, of Portland, Ore.

The bust occurred on June 26, 2024, at 4 p.m., during which time a Central Division CHP K-9 officer conducted an enforcement stop on a 2013 Hyundai Elantra for a traffic violation. The stop occurred on northbound I-5, north of Nees Avenue in Merced County with the traffic violations being observed in Fresno County.

During the stop, the officer discovered the driver was unlicensed. While checking out the contents of the  vehicle before impounding the Hyundai, the officer found a plastic bag behind the right passenger seat, which contained several packages of suspected crystal methamphetamine. Upon locating the narcotics, the driver was taken into custody without incident. 

As the officer continued to check out the vehicle, two additional large suitcases and a backpack were found in the trunk compartment, which had several packages of suspected crystal methamphetamine along with three packages of unknown narcotics.

As a result, Sandoval Lopez was arrested and the case was turned over to the Fresno High Impact Investigation Team (HIIT), which is a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Initiative composed of law enforcement personnel from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the California Department of Justice; the CHP; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, the Fresno, Madera, and Kings Counties Sheriff’s Offices; and the Fresno Police Department. 

Sandoval Lopez was subsequently booked into the Fresno County Jail on the charges of possession of fentanyl/heroin for sale, transportation of fentanyl/heroin across noncontiguous counties, possession of methamphetamine for sale and transportation of methamphetamine across counties.

Mid Valley Times Staff