Jose Meza

California trucker hauling $4.5M in heroin is snagged in N.J.

Police seized heroin worth as much as $4.5 million following a traffic stop on Interstate 295 in Gloucester County, officials reported this week.

Logan Township Police stopped a tractor-trailer driven by Jose Meza, 50, of California, and a narcotics-detecting K-9 indicated the presence of heroin in the vehicle’s cab.

Officers found 10 kilograms of heroin in a hidden compartment.

“The kilograms were individually packaged and stamped with unique markings,” according to an announcement from the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, which collaborated on the arrest.

Authorities called the bust “historic.”

This quantity of the drug could have produced 200,000 to 300,000 individual doses, which would have sold on the street for $10-$15 each, county Prosecutor Charles Fiore estimated.

“This seizure represents a major impact on illegal drug distribution activities in our region,” Fiore said in a statement.

Officials cited the importance of this bust, given the ongoing opioid addiction crisis in New Jersey. Gloucester County alone has reported more than 130 fatal overdoses in 2018, the prosecutor’s office noted.

Meza was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, a first-degree charge, and possession of CDS, a third-degree offense.

He was released pending future court appearances.