09/17/09 — Man found guilty in trafficking meth

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Man found guilty in trafficking meth

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on September 17, 2009 1:46 PM

A Wayne County Superior Court jury found a Mount Olive man guilty Wednesday of two trafficking counts in a trial related to five pounds of crystal methamphetamine seized in a traffic stop.

Jose Alejandro Arciniega, 28, of Baker Chapel Church Road, will spend a minimum of at least 18 years in prison for the offense, court records show.

The maximum prison time he could serve is a little more than 23 years, and Arciniega will also pay a $500,000 fine and court costs, records show.

Members of the Wayne County Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team testified that their stop of Arciniega on U.S. 70 on Aug. 23, 2008, was far from typical.

Lawmen had placed a Global Positioning System unit on a GMC Suburban they believed would be carrying a large stash of methamphetamine.

That was after they had allegedly watched two other men make a transaction for the methamphetamine, primarily at a Drummersville Road home, they testified.

Later, contact with Arcieniega was made at a Hispanic flea market, where they alleged Arciniega was appointed to drive the SUV to its destination.

Lawmen said the cache of crystal methamphetamine was worth about $250,000, and was equivalent to about 180,000 street "doses" of the drug.

Former Agressive Criminal Enforce-ment Team member Mike Cox testified that the type of methamphetamine seized probably was not produced anywhere near Wayne County.

"The most popular meth that you see and hear about, is being made at houses here, is the red phosphorous method -- it's more a pinkish-red color, it's made in home labs, it's very dirty," Cox said.

The drug seizure from the SUV driven by Arciniega did not fall into that category, and would be called "ice" or "glass" on the streets, Cox testified.

"This 'ice,' here, is made in super-labs," Cox testified. "It's a very pure form of methamphetamine ... very much more potent than the regular methamphetamine that is made in small labs here in the county."