Police stop van after seeing baby wasn’t in car seat, find 24 pounds of meth

LEWIS COUNTY, Wash. — Officials with the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team say they found 24 pounds of methamphetamine during a recent traffic stop in Lewis County.

Police said they pulled over a van on I-5 North after seeing that a female passenger had a baby on her lap in the front seat, clearly unrestrained.

Police said the van was rented out of California and was being driven by Gabriel Angel Diaz-Noriega, a resident of Mexico.

According to police, a K-9 unit was deployed after the people inside the van appeared nervous and gave different stories.  

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Police said the K-9 gave a positive alert and they obtained a search warrant for the van.

While searching the van, police said they found a non-factory compartment in the floorboard which contained what later weighed out to be 24 pounds of methamphetamine.

Police said a passenger, identified as California resident Norberto Becerra, was seated above the methamphetamine.

Becerra later explained in an interview that the drugs were supposed to be delivered to a person in Washington, police said.  

The woman who was riding in the passenger seat and three small children were released.

Police said Becerra and Diaz-Noriega were booked into the Lewis County Jail and both had bail set at $100,000.

Police said Becerra had posted bail and had a hearing scheduled for Thursday.

JNET is made up of members of the Centralia Police Department, the Chehalis Police Department, the Washington State Department of Corrections and the Drug Enforcement Agency.