STRIKE TEAM DEPUTIES FIND U.S. CURRENCY INSIDE VEHICLE DURING A TRAFFIC STOP & LEADS TO 2-ARRESTS
El Paso County Sheriff’s Office
3850 Justice Dr., El Paso, Texas 79938
Contact: Angelica Becerra / Public Information Officer
Office: (915) 538-2119
Pager: (915) 533-0733 (#5237)
“We Serve With Pride”
EL PASO, TX- On Wednesday, 11-23-11 at approximately 5:42 AM, Strike Team Sheriff’s Deputies were conducting stationary radar at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Stan Roberts Senior Avenue, El Paso County, TX, when Deputies saw a vehicle traveling southbound on Martin Luther King Jr. at a high rate of speed. Deputies initiated a traffic stop on the said vehicle, a maroon over tan Ford F-150 pick-up truck.
Upon making contact with the driver, the sole occupant, the Deputy noticed the driver appeared to be extremely nervous. The driver was identified as Ignacio Eduardo Omar Rios who gave the Sheriff’s Deputy voluntary consent to search the vehicle as he had nothing illegal inside the vehicle. While searching the vehicle, the Deputy saw the interior panel located adjacent of the center console, was partially removed. A further search of the vehicle led Deputies to a clear plastic bag containing an approximate $6,000 to $7,000 in US currency. When interviewed by the Deputy, the driver gave conflicting stories in reference to the US currency. Assistance was requested from Immigration Custom Enforcement canine handlers who arrived on scene with a currency and narcotic canine.
Additional Strike Team Deputies, who also had voluntary consent to search the residence, conducted a follow up at the 5900 block of Equinox, El Paso, TX, driver/RIOS residence.
While conducting a search of the residence, Deputies located a black Cobray M-11 semi-automatic sub-machine gun with a 30 round magazine and noticed the weapons serial numbers had been obliterated. In addition, Deputies also located drug paraphernalia, ammunition and additional US currency. Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Technicians were summoned to process the scene and the items were seized.
Subject/RIOS was arrested for TAMPERING WITH IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS and UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A FIREARM (Felon). A criminal background check revealed RIOS is currently on felony probation. The female at the residence during the search, was also arrested for POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA u/2 OUNCES. She was identified as common-law wife/Stephanie Briana Martinez.
A total of $7,730 was seized. The investigation continues.
IGNACIO EDUARDO OMAR RIOS (33)
CHARGE: TAMPERING WITH IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS / BOND: $5,000.00
UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A FIREARM (felon) / BOND: $5,000.00
PHOTOS COURTESY OF EPCSO:
STEPHANIE BRIANA MARTINEZ (24)
CHARGE: POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA U/2 OUNCES / BOND: $300.00