INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. — The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office said a Wednesday afternoon traffic stop resulted in the seizure of about $150,000 worth of drugs and the arrest of a 28-year-old Miami man.
The agency said detectives in Palm Bay advised them they were following a vehicle into Indian River County that was suspected of trafficking fentanyl or heroin from South Florida.
Detectives said they attempted to stop the vehicle near the southern county line. The vehicle pulled over, but then fled from the scene.
A second traffic stop was attempted just north of the Vero Beach exit, but the vehicle refused to stop, and deputies did not pursue.
The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office helicopter later located the vehicle near County Road 512 and Interstate 95 as the vehicle began heading east.
The vehicle turned north near the Indian River County pool and authorities finally stopped the driver, identified as Thomas Ibarra, 28, of Miami.
Inside the vehicle, the sheriff's said they found a kilogram of a fentanyl/heroin mixture and $2,706 in cash. The estimated street value of the drugs was about $150,000, according to law enforcement.
“The quantity and purity of the fentanyl seized is beyond deadly. We continue to see opioid overdoses in our community and are working hard to eradicate it from the streets," said Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar.
Ibarra was arrested and faces charges of felony fleeing and eluding and trafficking fentanyl. Ibarra is being held at the Indian River County Jail on a $53,500 bond.