Apple Valley woman arrested after cocaine found in package at airport
Elizabeth L. Sanchez, 33, charged with two felonies
by Andrew Miller
An Apple Valley woman is facing criminal charges after a Federal Express package containing more than 17 grams of cocaine was discovered by police earlier this week at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.
Elizabeth Laine Sanchez, 33, was charged today (Friday, Jan. 20) with two felony counts of controlled substance possession after a Dakota County Drug Task Force sting in which the package was delivered and her apartment was searched.
The criminal complaint gives the following account:
Airport police obtained a search warrant to open the package after it was deemed suspicious. They found 17.6 grams of what they believed to be cocaine, and after a chemical test confirmed it was indeed the drug, it was repackaged in the box in which it had arrived.
At about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, Drug Task Force agents did a “controlled delivery.” Undercover officers observed Sanchez accepting the package from a delivery truck outside her apartment building on the 15500 block of Galaxie Avenue. The officers then followed her back to her apartment and executed a search warrant.
In searching the apartment police say they found a drug pipe, a digital scale, syringes, pills in an unmarked prescription bottle and trace amounts of cocaine on a spoon.
They also found the box in which the 17.6 grams of cocaine had been shipped, but not the cocaine itself.
Police believe the cocaine was flushed down the toilet as they began executing the search warrant, the complaint said.
Officers spoke with a woman who was in the apartment with Sanchez when the search began. She told them she saw Sanchez remove an item from the package and then run to the bathroom.
Sanchez was arrested and booked into the Dakota County Jail, where she remained as of 3 p.m. Friday. Bail was set at $100,000 without conditions, $50,000 with conditions.
If convicted of the two felony charges, Sanchez faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and $510,000 fines. She’s also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a petty misdemeanor punishable by a $300 fine.
Her next court appearance is Feb. 6.
Andrew Miller is at firstname.lastname@example.org.