KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A six-month-long investigation led to the arrest of three people and confiscation of 27 pounds of drugs in Kalamazoo.
Around 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, Illinois State Police stopped a Lexus SUV on a highway for a traffic violation. During the stop, a K-9 indicated the presence of drugs inside the rear door of the vehicle.
Troopers arrested the driver, 70-year-old Virginia Sandor, and a passenger, 62-year-old Mario Esteban Lopez-Zenteno.
Sandor agreed to cooperate with ISP investigators, and a federal document says she told investigators she was offered $2,500 to drive the SUV to Kalamazoo by 55-year-old Andre Hollin of Riverside, California.
Authorities say Sandor admitted to knowing there were drugs inside the vehicle, but didn’t know what kind of drugs they were.
She then agreed to assist with a controlled delivery of the vehicle to Hollin at a residence in the 600 block of Reed Avenue in Kalamazoo. At that point, ISP troopers contact several other agencies, including Michigan State Police’s Southwest Enforcement Team to assist in the delivery.
Later Tuesday, investigators met Sandor and Lopez-Senteno at the MSP Paw Paw post with the vehicle, where 27 pounds of drugs were taken from the vehicle. Investigators placed two bundles, weighing less than three pounds combined, back into the vehicle and had the couple call Hollin to arrange their meeting.
The SUV then drove to an apartment complex in the 1200 block of Little Drive in Kalamazoo and followed a vehicle driven by Hollin to the residence on Reed Avenue.
After parking the Lexus SUV, Sandor and Lopez-Senteno left the area on foot and investigators observed Hollin checking the area for people and vehicles, which investigators say is a common tactic for drug traffickers looking for police.
Around 8:36 p.m. investigators saw the SUV being driven into the garage at the residence, made entry and took Hollin into custody.
Hollin, Sandor and Lopez-Senteno have each been charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance for their alleged roles in the incident.