Mid-Iowa Drug Task force deputies arrested two men for allegedly intending to traffic nearly 10 pounds of methamphetamine.
Police charged Ramon Cavillo-Cardenas, 68, of Fontana, Calif., and Rigoberto Martinez-Miss, 41, of Riverside, Calif., Thursday morning when they raided their rooms at the Super 8 Motel, 3315 S. Center St.
The two are charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, a Class B felony, failure to affix drug tax stamp, a Class D felony, and prohibited acts, an aggravated misdemeanor.
"We like to take the source of the drugs out as much as we can," said Marshall County Sheriff Office's Chief Deputy Burt Tecklenburg.
The men had nearly 10 pounds of the drug in their possession, he said. Police also seized some documents, a pickup truck belonging to Cavillo-Cardenas and more than $4,000 in cash. The street value of the meth is approximately $476, 700.
Minnesota State Police Criminal Apprehension Unit collaborated with the Mid-Iowa Drug Task Force on the arrest, Tecklenburg said, mainly because of the drugs' transient nature.
Because Mexico has little to no regulations on ingredients used to make meth - specifically pseudoephedrine - an overwhelming amount of it originates near the border, not in local clandestine labs like many people assume, Tecklenburg said.
"It's made in superlabs in the southwest," he said. "They have the ability to acquire the ingredients in bulk quantities they can get it in by the truckload."
Other arrests are pending as the investigation continues. Tecklenburg said because of the quantity of drugs involved, the case might become a federal case, landing the men in Des Moines, but police have no plans to extradite the men to California at this time.
The men made their initial appearances Friday and are being held on $100,000 cash bond.