Three arrested in town of Beloit pot bust

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Gazette staff
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

TOWN OF BELOIT—Officers report confiscating 16 pounds of marijuana sent from California in an operation at the Beloit Mobile Home Park on Monday.

Rock County sheriff's deputies and a U.S. postal inspector conducted the operation, arresting three people.

Arrested on charges of party to possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and party to maintaining a drug trafficking place were Maria G. Aguaya Avila, 36, Belvidere, Illinois; Martin Ayala Tapia, 30, Livingston, California; and Arturo Carol Zepeda Pulido, 25, Rockford, Illinois.

Officials tracked the marijuana through the mail after a postal inspector alerted them to a suspicious package being sent overnight from someone in Atwater, California, who regularly sends packages that smell of marijuana, according to a criminal complaint.

The package was addressed to 2433 Riverside Drive, Lot 5, in the mobile home park, according to the complaint.

The postal inspector posed as a mail deliverer and delivered the package to the home, where a resident said she had agreed to receive the package from her friend from Belvidere, Aguaya Avila, according to the complaint.

The woman was to receive $400 to accept the package and hold it for Aguaya Avila to pick it up.

The woman agreed to text Aguaya Avila, say she wasn't going to be home, and she would leave the package on the porch, according to the complaint.

Two SUVs from Illinois showed up, Ayala Tapia picked up the package, and he and Aguaya Avila were arrested, the complaint states.

Zepeda Pulido was in the second vehicle, which pulled up behind the first vehicle but then sped around it, narrowly missing the postal inspector, who had to move out of the way, according to the complaint.

Zepeda Pulido was caught a short time later and was charged with first-degree recklessly endangering safety.

All three appeared in court Wednesday and were held at the Rock County Jail on cash bonds ranging from $4,000 to $10,500.

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