Crime & Courts

Man with expired Mexican passport accused of bringing 20 pounds of meth to Wichita

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)

A man from Mexico who said he was on his way to Wichita when police pulled him over and found 20 pounds of methamphetamine in his car was arraigned in federal court this week, court documents show.

Jesus Idubi Alcala-Rodriguez, 38, was driving on U.S. 54 in Goddard in a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta early on Nov. 15 when a Sedgwick County Sheriff’s deputy saw him driving 14 mph below the speed limit. The deputy said the Jetta was drifting within its lane, a probable cause affidavit filed in federal court says.

The deputy stopped Alcala-Rodriguez, and the man provided an expired Mexico passport as his photo identification, the affidavit says.

Alcala-Rodriguez and a passenger in the Jetta, Maria Del Carmen Corona, told the deputy they were coming from California and had been driving since the previous morning, the affidavit says.

But they gave differing accounts to police of where they were heading. Corona told the deputy they were on their way to Arkansas. Alcala-Rodriguez said they were going to Wichita to deliver a set of speakers, the affidavit says.

Alcala-Rodriguez, multiple times and without the deputy “prompting him to do so,” told him he could search the car, the affidavit says.

The deputy found the speaker box Alcala-Rodriguez said he was delivering to someone in Wichita. He reported that he could see the speaker contained plastic bags. When he looked inside the speaker, he found 19 separate packages of a substance later confirmed to be meth, according to the affidavit.

The packages were later weighed and found to have a gross weight of more than 20 pounds. Police also found a 3.5-gram shard of what looked like meth in the passenger compartment of the Jetta and an unused glass pipe, the affidavit says.

Alcala-Rodriguez gave conflicting statements about his knowledge of the drugs in his car, a detective said. He told police he estimated two kilos of drugs in the car and at other times denied knowing the drugs were there, according to the affidavit.

Alcala-Rodriguez told investigators that he knew the person he was delivering the speakers for was a drug dealer, the affidavit says.

He was initially booked into Sedgwick County Jail and is being held by ICE “due to illegally entering into the United States,” a news release from the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office said.

“The Sheriff’s Office has stated previously, the majority of crimes committed are being driven by drugs,” Sedgwick County Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Tim Meyers said in the release. “Predominantly in this community that drug is methamphetamine.”

“We (the Sheriff’s Department) ask the public to be diligent in helping us rid this community of this terrible drug that is causing crime trends to raise, mental health issues and tearing apart families,” Meyers said.

Alcala-Rodriguez was arraigned Monday. Court documents show he expects to enter a not guilty plea. He will remain in detention while he awaits trial, according to an order by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Gwynne Birzer.

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Chance Swaim won the Betty Gage Holland Award in 2018 for distinguished service to honor and protect the integrity of public dialogue on America’s college campuses. He has been a news reporter for The Wichita Eagle since 2018. You can contact him at 316-269-6752 and