Police: $2M in drugs seized during traffic stop in Branford

Carlos Alberto Hernandez-Salazar

BRANFORD —  Police said a traffic stop led to a seizure of eight kilos of narcotics Wednesday evening.

Branford police arrested Carlos Alberto Hernandez-Salazar, 27, of Ohio after a officer stopped the car he was riding in for a motor vehicle violation. Maria Zambrano, 20, of Ohio,  was the person driving the car at the time of the stop and there were two children in the car as well.

Police said they stopped the car because the it had “very heavily tinted” windows. While conducting the stop, police said they noticed that Zambrano and Hernandez-Salazar were acting “unusually nervous and suspicious.”

Police said they then had Hernandez-Salazar exit the car and conduct a search of the car after Hernandez-Salazar agreed to the search. During the search, police said they found eight packages of narcotics inside of a duffel bag.

Hernandez-Salazar was taken into custody where he was charged with criminal attempt for possession of narcotics and risk of injury to a minor. He was held on a $250,000 bond.

On Thursday, police said after laboratory analysis of the substances seized,  it was determined that the narcotics included a mixture of Fentanyl and Tramadol which both are opioids and have a street value of $2 million.

“As a result, at his arraignment, Hernandez-Salazar charges were increased to include possession of narcotics with intent to sell and his bond raised to $500,000,” said police.

Chief Kevin Halloran said that he is extremely pleased about the seizure.

“Our community, along with many others throughout our nation has been plagued with this extremely dangerous drug. Its use has resulted in the loss of life of many of our citizens. I’m hopeful that this good work by our officers has prevented the possibility of another opioid related death,” said Chief Halloran.

Hernandez-Salazar is expected to appear in court on Monday, July 24.