Virac tricycle driver caught in drug bust
posted 21-Apr-2019  ·  
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A tricycle driver who moonlighted as a drug pusher was arrested in a buy-bust operation conducted by the Virac police station and other police units last week.

Charges of violation of Section 5 (sale of illegal drugs) and Section 11 (possession of illegal drugs) of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, have been filed against Ariel Beo Matienzo, 38, a resident of barangay Calatagan Tibang, before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office.

The official report from the office of Catanduanes police director P/Col. Paul Abay stated that joint elements of the Virac MPS, Catanduanes provincial intelligence branch, the 1st Catanduanes Police Mobile Force and the Regional Intelligence Division led by Capt. Ariel Buraga planned the operation after receiving information from a confidential informant that Matienzo was selling a sachet of methamphetamine hydrochloride for P1,500 but only to a trusted buyer known to the informant.

An intelligence officer, posing as the buyer, drove on his motorcycle together with the informant to the bridge near the ARDCI Corporate Inn at barangay San Roque at 10 A.M. of April 2, 2019.

The civilian alighted and walked away towards the Immaculate Conception Cathedral near where the tricycle driver was reportedly waiting.

He came back a few minutes later and told the policeman that Matienzo agreed to sell the illegal drug at an area along the road near the Bureau of Treasury office.

The police officer in civilian clothes went to the meeting place where the tricycle driver, wearing a black jacket, asked him, “Ika ito, brod?”

When he answered, “Iyo,” Matienzo produced a small plastic sachet containing white crystalline granules. The poseur-buyer paid him three P500 bills, of which two were fake, which the tricycle driver inserted at the back of his waist.

As the officer removed his cap to signal the other members of the team prepositioned nearby that the illegal drug sale had gone down, he accosted the surprised suspect.

In the presence of barangay officials and designated witnesses, a search of the suspect led to the recovery of three more small sachets of shabu and one sachet containing dried leaves believed to be marijuana.

Matienzo could face life imprisonment if found guilty during trial, aside from a fine of more than P500,000.

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