John Mangalonzo, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa –
Local and state narcotics agents prevented what may have been the introduction of crystal meth in the area with the seizure of nearly a pound of the substance with an estimated street value of more than $40,000.
It also resulted in the arrest of Carlos Alberto Alvarado, 44, of Chicago, who was booked into the Des Moines County jail Saturday charged with delivery of meth, possession of over five grams of meth with intent to deliver and failure to affix drug tax stamp.
Agents from the Southeast Iowa Narcotics Task Force, along with their counterparts in Lee County and the state, received information a Chicago man known as “Flaco” was going to be in the Burlington area to deliver half a pound of crystal meth.
Unlike street meth that is made in mom-and-pop clandestine labs or one-pot, crystal meth is similar to Mexican ice, which is produced in relatively larger quantities in so-called “superlabs.”
Most are based in Mexico and the product is shipped to the United States by UPS, FedEx and Greyhound bus, as well as in cars and trucks with secret compartments.
The “deal” involving Flaco, who later was identified as Alvarado, was to take place in a local restaurant, authorities said.
Alvarado allegedly met with another man, to whom he gave a product sample. Agents reportedly saw Alvarado carrying a box during the operation.
Authorities swooped in and detained Alvarado inside the restaurant. A search of his car reportedly yielded 253.8 grams of crystal meth inside a box in the trunk.
Narcotics officers also found a plastic bag they say contained 87 grams of the same substance.
Agents said a preliminary test indicated the presence of methamphetamine in the substance.