SLO County K9 sniffs out meth bags in gas tank

Meth haul valued at $228,000

C.J. Ward, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Anchor, cj.ward@keyt.com
POSTED: 08:37 PM PDT May 15, 2013    UPDATED: 11:48 PM PDT May 15, 2013 
SLO County K9 sniffs out meth bags in gas tank
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -

A San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's K9 is getting credit for a meth bust worth almost a quarter of a million dollars.

Sheriff's Deputy Al Barger and his K9 partner "Jack" were driving northbound on Highway 101 on the Cuesta Grade about 7:15pm on May 13, when the car in front of them started making abrupt lane changes.

Barger noticed the car also had expired registration tags and pulled the driver over. The driver, identified as 32-year old Maria Guadalupe Garcia, has prior convictions for transporting drugs and she had her three children in the car.

Jack sniffed the car and indicated that there were drugs in the car.  Barger removed the back seat and saw a metal plate above the gas tank that was missing a screw. Barger removed the metal plate and allegedly discovered plastic packages floating in the gas tank. Authorities said Barger removed a total of 13 one-pound bags containing methamphetamine worth an estimated $228,000.

Garcia was arrested on drug charges and three counts of child endangerment. Her bail is set at $1-million. Her three children, ages 15, 12 and 5 are in the custody of Child Protective Services.