By Bobby Mathews, sports editor
STEELE — A routine traffic stop on I-59 South resulted in a drug-trafficking charge in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.
Jose Colocho-Martinez, 42, was driving erratically on the interstate a little after 2 a.m. on September 15, according to Steele Police Chief Mark Ward. The resulting traffic stop found more than 1,000 pills. Ward said that authorities believe at least 235 of those pills are Fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
“It is a prescription drug that is also made and used illegally,” the NIDA website states. “Like morphine, it is a medicine that is typically used to treat patients with severe pain, especially after surgery. It is also sometimes used to treat patients with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to other opioids.”
The rest of the pills appear to be Tramadol, which is also a synthetic opiod.
“He was changing lanes a lot and not signaling,” Ward said. “He couldn’t maintain his lane integrity.”
A patrol officer pulled Colocho-Martinez over, and in the course of the traffic stop, the suspect began to act nervous. Colocho-Martinez allowed the police to search his vehicle, where the officer found the cache of drugs.
Colocho-Martinez was booked into the St. Clair County Jail at 5:11 a.m. Wednesday, on drug trafficking charges. His bond is $1.5 million.