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11½ pounds of meth found in spare tire

Albuquerque Journal, February 18, 2015

Noelia Telenili, when asked if she had methamphetamine in her car, told a New Mexico State Police patrolman she didn’t know what the drug was.

Her story seemed fishy to the officer.

When he searched her car, he found 11½ pounds of methamphetamine packed into the spare tire, according to court records.

The officer stopped Telenili, 26, of Gilbert, Ariz., when she was driving 2 miles per hour above the speed limit on Interstate 40 west of Albuquerque around 8 a.m. Monday, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.

He noticed air fresheners hanging in the car. “It is common for drug trafficking organizations to use air freshener to mask the smell of controlled substances,” the officer wrote in the complaint.

Telenili told the officer she was driving from Arizona to Indiana to pick up her mom, but said her mom didn’t know she was coming. “General motoring public contact relatives and inform them of their visit,” the officer wrote in the complaint.

When the officer asked her if there was any cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine or marijuana in the car, she said she didn’t know what methamphetamine was, but said she didn’t have any of the other drugs. She allowed him to search her car, which is when he noticed that something was rolling around in the spare tire. A drug dog also singled out the tire.

The officer cut it open and found 11 packages of drugs wrapped in tape. The packages were all methamphetamine except for one, which was heroin, according to the complaint.

Telenili, also identified as Nooelia Tefenili in court records, was charged with trafficking drugs and booked into the county jail on $15,000 bail.