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Man arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking in Cortez

Police found nearly one ounce of methamphetamine in the vehicle.
The man’s vehicle was littered with drug traces and paraphernalia

A man arrested after a routine traffic stop on May 25 faces charges of drug trafficking and possession after Cortez Police found nearly an ounce of meth and drug paraphernalia in his car.

Officer Vance Carver said he initiated the traffic stop about 9:29 p.m. while driving east at Main and Ash streets after confirming with dispatch the 2003 Volkswagen Jetta in front of him had no registration.

After the vehicle slowly came to a stop, Carver identified the driver as Jacob Aaron Ortiz, who has had previous interactions with law enforcement.

Recently, Ortiz was arrested on Feb. 10 after he and Brett Robsion were suspected of hauling items stolen from a property in Pleasant View. Ortiz was also found to be in possession of an illegal handgun and illegal substances in another arrest.

Carver said there was money in the car, as well as several “99” shooters on the Jetta’s floor, but he noted that at first observation, he couldn’t decipher whether they had been opened.

He said a clear piece of plastic also sat on the center console of the vehicle, and a white residue that appeared to be meth was on top of the lid.

“When I first spoke to Jacob, he was on his phone, looking at the title for the vehicle, saying he was trying to get insurance on it just now,” Carver said.

After telling Ortiz to get out of the vehicle, Carver said that Ortiz was “verbally noncompliant,” taking his time rolling up the window before getting out of the car.

“The windows were so dark I could not see inside, and he did not get out of the vehicle as soon as he rolled the window up,” Carver said in his report.

After Ortiz finally exited the vehicle, Carver requested a cover unit and told Ortiz to sit at the rear of the vehicle while he did his investigation.

While looking in the vehicle after other officers arrived, Carver said he found a “pinkish” clear glass pipe with a bulb on it under the front seat, which usually signifies a meth pipe.

After retrieving the pipe, Ortiz searched Ortiz, believing that he was in possession of drug paraphernalia or illicit drugs.

In Ortiz’s right pocket, Carver discovered a “large” baggie of a white crystalline substance that Carver said he believed was meth.

“The baggies was clearly well over a felony amount of methamphetamine,” Carver said.

In the car, Carver also found $181 in cash, a bag with more suspected drugs inside, four suspected meth pipes, a tooter straw and a Colorado EBT card belonging to Richard Bowling.

Ortiz’s vehicle was towed by Mancos Towing to their tow lot, and Ortiz was taken to the Cortez Police Department.

At the police department, the suspected methamphetamine was found to weigh about 26 grams (nearly one ounce). The substance also tested “presumptive positive for the presence of methamphetamine.”

The other bag contained marijuana.

“Twenty-six grams of methamphetamine is nearly an ounce. From my training and experience, this is not a user amount of drugs. Jacob had $181 in various denominations in cash. The cash was scattered in various places, which would be expected of someone selling drugs and putting the money in different locations after different sales. The piece of plastic appears to have been used to cut the drugs into smaller quantities,” Carver said.

Ortiz has a previous misdemeanor conviction for possession of a controlled substance.

Ortiz was left in the custody of jail staff at the Montezuma County Detention Center. He was booked on the charges of unlawful distribution, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and displaying expired license plates.

Ortiz will appear in the 22nd Judicial District Court for his return filing of charges on Tuesday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m.