About $5.6 million in heroin seized on I-40 just east of Amarillo

31-year-old Joe Laura-Meridia and 31-year-old Jose Morales-Rittinger, from Mexico, were arrested after a DPS Trooper found about $5.6 million in heroin hidden inside the vehicle. (Photo: Texas DPS)

Two people from Mexico were arrested following a traffic stop on Tuesday that led to the discovery of dozens of pounds of heroin.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, a Trooper seized more than 44 pounds of heroin Tuesday after a Texas Highway Patrol Trooper stopped a vehicle in Potter County.

DPS said the Trooper stopped a 1995 BMW passenger car traveling east on I-40 near Amarillo just after 4 p.m. on Tuesday. The Trooper found several cellophane and tape-wrapped packages of heroin inside a false compartment behind the rear seat.

According to DPS, the heroin was worth about $5.6 million.

There was two people inside the vehicle. The driver was identified as 31-year-old Joe Laura-Meridia and the passenger as 31-year-old Jose Morales-Rittinger, both from Mexico.

DPS said both Laura-Meridia and Morales-Rittinger were arrested and charged with Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance. They were booked into the Potter County Jail.

According to DPS, the drugs were allegedly being transported from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Chicago, Illinois.