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$20,000, Half Pound of Marijuana Seized, Drug Courier From Atlanta Arrested in Large-Scale Operation

April 27, 2013. During the early evening hours of Tuesday April 23, Narcotics Investigators with the Boone Police Department and the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office ended a large-scale drug investigation.

Osborne seizure moneyThis investigation ended when the target of the case was arrested during a counter-drug operation in Boone. Officers learned that a methamphetamine trafficker from the Atlanta Georgia area was making a large delivery to a location within the Town of Boone.  Officers identified this drug courier as Mauricio “Mario” Baltazar (H/M, DOB 08-22-92, 5277 Ahyoka Drive Lake City, Georgia).  

“This operation represents the very core mission of our narcotics unit.  The goal of every drug case we investigate is to identify and arrest the individuals responsible for importing illegal drugs into our town.” – Chief Dana Crawford

These agencies planned a covert counter-drug operation to intercept this methamphetamine shipment and arrest Baltazar. These agencies were assisted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Homeland Security.

During this operation, Boone Police K-9 Maus and her handler MPO J. Warren were utilized.  Maus was used to search Baltazar’s vehicle. Maus alerted officers to the presence of drugs inside the vehicle and approximately (1/2) pound of crystal methamphetamine was seized.  This amount of methamphetamine has a street value of $22,000.

Baltazar was charged with 2-counts of Trafficking in Methamphetamine and is currently lodged in the Watauga County Jail under a $75,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on 5/28/13. 

BaltazarOn this same date, at 9:02 PM, Boone officers would again call on MPO Warren and K9 Maus for their specialized skills.   Officer R. Blevins conducted a traffic stop for speeding and an equipment violation. The driver was identified as Jerry Dean Osborne (W/M, DOB 09-14-92, 185 Village Drive, Apartment 1410, Wilkesboro NC). Upon speaking with Osborne, Officer Blevins suspected controlled substance involvement. Officer Blevins called MPO Warren and Maus to the scene to assist. 

MPO Warren utilized Maus to help investigate.  Maus lead officers to search the trunk of the vehicle, which revealed approximately (1/2) pound of marijuana and a book bag containing over $20,000 in cash.  Narcotics Investigators were called to the scene and took over the investigation.  After an interview with Osborne, Narcotics Investigators have reason to believe he was in Boone to distribute marijuana. Investigators also believe the money was the proceeds of illegal drug sales.

Osborne was arrested and charged with the Felony Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver Marijuana, Felony Manufacture Marijuana by Packaging and Felony Maintaining a Vehicle to Keep a Controlled Substance.  Osborne was lodged in the Watauga County Jail under a $3,000 Bond.

Osborne “Master Police Officer Warren and K9 Maus were crucial in both of these situations. Dogs like Maus are so beneficial to law enforcement. MPO Warren and K9 Maus are a great team and they serve our citizen’s well.  They both did a fantastic job during these cases.” – Sgt. Chris Hatton

If anyone has information about the location of illegal drugs, but wants to remain anonymous please call Crimestoppers.