What began as a routine traffic stop for overly tinted windows turned into a drug bust last Wednesday, when discovered almost two dozen ecstasy tablets in the car of two Boston residents driving through town.
Officer Nate Derby, patrolling Route 9, observed a vehicle with illegally tinted windows and tail lights, and stopped it, according to a police report. Derby asked the driver, Sixta Cortes, 21, of Roxbury for her license and registration and also requested identifying information from her passenger, 23-year-old Abel Tavarez of East Boston, because he was not wearing a seatbelt.
During the exchange, Derby smelled marijuana, and Cortes admitted to smoking earlier in the day, according to the report. Derby took the odor as probable cause to search the vehicle and called Officer Chris Cunningham for backup.
In the glove box, the officers found clear plastic baggies, the kind commonly used to package and distribute narcotics, the report stated. They also discovered a hydraulic jack and noted two oddities: The jack was unusually clean, as if it had never been used, and it was stored in the back seat of the car, instead of the trunk.
Derby questioned Cortes about the jack’s origin and purpose and characterized her responses as evasive in the police report. The officers removed the top of the jack and found 20 blue pills and one reddish pill, all in plastic baggies and all later identified as ecstasy.
Cortes and Tavarez were charged with possession of a Class B substance with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate controlled substance laws and, because they were arrested within 1,000 feet of , distribution within a drug-free school zone.
Cortes was also cited for a window tinting violation and for noncompliant after-market lighting.
Both were bailed on personal recognizance.