DEA seizes 436 grams of heroin in stop

Santos R. Rivera
Santos R. Rivera

A Youngstown man was charged by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency with heroin trafficking after officers found him driving with 436 grams of heroin inside his vehicle.

Santos R. Rivera, 47, was charged by DEA agents last week in U.S. District Court in Youngstown with distributing heroin. Rivera’s case was unsealed Tuesday.

He entered no plea at his initial appearance Monday and was ordered detained until a detention hearing scheduled for Sept. 3.

Rivera originally was arrested by Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers and was charged in Mahoning County Canfield Area Court with first-degree felony drug trafficking and possession.

Rivera, according to the affidavit filed by DEA agent Joshua Wells, was pulled over by troopers about 2:45 a.m. Aug. 17 for weaving while driving on Interstate 76 westbound in Beaver Township.

Rivera’s hands were shaking and he was “extremely nervous and was vague while answering routine questions,” according to the affidavit.

Troopers questioned Rivera and his passenger, who said he was at Rivera’s South Jackson Street home to help repair his car. Rivera told officers his passenger was there to help repair his home.

A canine officer indicated he smelled drugs in the car. Troopers found three disc-shaped packages wrapped in duct tape that tested positive for 436 grams of heroin, the affidavit says. They also found a small bag with 0.5 grams of cocaine. A dosage unit of heroin is typically one gram.

DEA agents went to the OSHP Canfield Post to take custody of the drugs.

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