Release delayed due to a follow-up investigation –
On May 16, 2019, around 7 :45 PM, a YCSO deputy spotted a white Honda Accord with Oklahoma plates commit several moving violations on north I17 in Cordes Junction. The driver, 48-year-old Hilario Perez did not have a driver’s license and supplied a Mexican ID card only. During the interaction with the deputy, Perez was shaking and sweating and would not make eye contact. A records check revealed Perez had a suspended license out of Arizona. As the discussion continued, the deputy, based on his training and experience, believed Perez was likely involved in the transportation of contraband/drugs. An officer from the Department of Public Safety arrived to assist and provide Spanish translation for the remainder of the contact. Perez was asked for, and agreed, to a consent search the vehicle.
As the search began, it was discovered the rear passenger door panel was ajar and slightly pulled open. With the panel wedged open, numerous packages wrapped in plastic sheets were found and appeared to contain methamphetamine. A YCSO K9 deputy came to the scene and Perez was arrested. His vehicle was transported to a secure evidence facility where it could be safely processed. Once there, deputies removed 25 one pound packages of methamphetamine from the rear passenger door panel and located an additional 15 one pound packages of methamphetamine behind the rear driver’s side door panel. A total of 40 pounds was seized – see photos.
During a follow-up interview, Perez denied knowing there was methamphetamine stored in the doors of the vehicle even after admitting he had transported drugs in the past. Perez claimed he was in Phoenix to sell the Honda, but the potential buyer declined so he planned on returning to Oklahoma.
Perez was booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including Transportation of Methamphetamine, Sales of Methamphetamine and Possession of Methamphetamine. He remains in custody on a $750,000 bond. Perez has also been placed on a 287g immigration hold.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov