CANADIAN COUNTY, Okla. – A woman is in jail after deputies in Oklahoma discovered 72 pounds of marijuana inside of her vehicle.
On November 30th, Julia Ortiz, 49, or Springdale, Arkansas, was driving on I-40 near the Kilpatrick Turnpike when was pulled over by a Canadian County Sheriff’s Deputy for multiple traffic violations, officials said.
Ortiz reportedly told the deputy she was driving home with her daughter after a trip to California.
Authorities say the woman told the deputy she had gone to visit her mother, who she claimed possessed some health issues.
Deputies became suspicious and believed Ortiz might be involved in criminal activity because her timeline would have only allowed her several hours to visit her sick mother before loading up, and heading home to Arkansas again.
“My deputies didn’t believe Ortiz because it’s not reasonable for someone to travel halfway across the country to see their sick mother, and turn around and head home after only a few hours. I believe most people would stay for a few days at the least, after having driven straight through for over 20 hours,” said Chris West, Canadian County Sheriff.
Officials say Ortiz consented to a search of the vehicle, which resulted in the discovery of two large black duffel bags containing numerous vacuum sealed bags of marijuana totaling 72.5 pounds. The duffel bags were located in the trunk of the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Ortiz was traveling in.
“We believe the weed is high-grade ‘Hydro,’ with a street value around $175,000, and is most likely linked to a Mexican drug Cartel,” West said.
Ortiz was taken into custody and transported to the Canadian County Jail where she was booked in for Trafficking Marijuana, and Child Neglect.
Ortiz has since bonded out of jail.
Ortiz’s daughter was taken into protective custody by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services after Ortiz’s arrest.