Police Seize Opioids After Car Stop

Branford Police Photo Branford police confiscated eight kilograms of narcotics, a combined mixture of Fentanyl and Tramadol, both opioids and valued on the street market at $2 million, after stopping a car with very heavily tinted windows Wednesday.

They arrested Carlos Albert Hernandez-Salazar, 27, of Canton, Ohio, after Officer Josef Herten stopped the car because of the windows. The stop occurred at about 5:15 p.m. but police did not say where in Branford or where on a highway it took place. Maria Zambrano, 20, was driving. Their two children were with them. 

Police Capt. Geoff Morgan said last night that Officer Herten noticed that Zambrano and Hernandez-Salazar “were acting unusually nervous and suspicious.” Officer Herten and Officer John Abely, who was assisting on the stop, asked Hernandez-Salazar to leave the car and he did.

In a news release, Morgan said that during a roadside interview with Officer Herten, Hernandez-Salazar agreed to allow Officer Herten to search the trunk of the car where he found eight (8) packages of narcotics inside a duffel bag. Maria Zambrano was not arrested.

Branford Police Photo Hernandez-Salazar (pictured) was charged with possession of narcotics and risk of injury to a minor. He was held on a $250,000 bond and was arraigned in New Haven Superior Court Thursday at 2 p.m.

However, once the lab results came back and prosecutors learned of the opioid mix and the $2 million street value of the drugs, Hernandez-Salazar’s charges were increased to include possession of narcotics with intent to sell. His bond was raised to $500,000. It is not known if he posted it.

Chief Kevin Halloran said that he was 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.”

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